PINEHURST — FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital is one of the first hospitals to receive the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designation.
Hospital officials say the new designation under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program gives soon-to-be parents a new way of identifying hospitals that deliver quality, affordable maternity care.
Research shows that facilities that are designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients when compared to other facilities. On average, Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent more cost-efficient than non-Blue Distinction Center+ designated health care facilities.
Dr. John Byron, an obstetrician/gynecologist with Southern Pines Women’s Health Center, a FirstHealth clinic, attributes the Moore Regional designation to the variety of maternity care services the hospital and its physicians provide.
“FirstHealth has partnered with our local providers and participated in statewide hospital and governmental initiatives to integrate evidence-based medicine into everyday practice,” he said.
“The FirstHealth physician practices appreciate the full complement of services and capabilities of Moore Regional Hospital to include our Neonatal ICU, Maternal-Fetal Medicine program and other women’s services available for our patients. Our combined efforts toward pre-term birth prevention, maternal risk screening and reduction of elective induction of labor are a few of the many initiatives that have led to our success.”
Dr. Shayna Jones, an obstetrician/gynecologist with the Women’s Care Center of Pinehurst Surgical, agrees.
“Our physicians are pleased that the maternity services at Moore Regional have been recognized with this distinction,” she said. “They are committed to high-quality, patient-centered care for mothers and their newborns.”
Nearly 4 million babies are born in the U.S. annually, making childbirth the most common cause of hospitalization. The new Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care program evaluates hospitals on several quality measures, including the percentage of newborns that fall into the category of early elective delivery, an ongoing concern in the medical community.
Compared with babies born 39 weeks or later, early-term infants face higher risks of infant death and respiratory ailments such as respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, and respiratory failure, among other conditions. These babies also have a higher rate of admission to Neonatal Intensive Care Units.
Hospitals that receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designation have also agreed to meet requirements that align with principles that support evidence-based practices of care, as well as having initiated programs to promote successful breastfeeding, as described in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative by Baby-Friendly USA or the Mother-Friendly Hospital program by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services through its “10 Steps of Mother Friendly Care.”
The program also evaluates hospitals on overall patient satisfaction, including a willingness to recommend the hospital to others.
Earlier this year, Moore Regional was also named a Blue Distinction Center+ for Cardiac Care.
For more information about the Blue Cross Blue Shield program, visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction. For more information about the maternity care services offered by FirstHealth of the Carolinas, go to www.firsthealth.org/women.
Brenda Bouser works in corporate communications for FirstHealth of the Carolinas.