CHI Memorial Earns Blue Distinction Center+ Designation For Quality And Cost-Efficiency In Cardiac Care

Monday, May 22, 2017

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has designated CHI Memorial as a Blue Distinction Center+ in the Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care program, part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.  Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated healthcare facilities shown to deliver improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures developed with input from the medical community.

To receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Cardiac Care designation, a hospital must demonstrate its expertise in delivering safe and effective cardiac care, focusing on cardiac valve surgery, coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) and percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) episodes of care.  A hospital must also have earned national accreditation at the facility level.  In addition to meeting established quality thresholds, these hospitals must also demonstrate better cost-efficiency compared to their peers.

Quality is key: only those facilities that first meet nationally established quality measures for Blue Distinction Centers were considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+.

CHI Memorial is proud to be recognized by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee for meeting the rigorous selection criteria for cardiac care set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

“As the region’s leader in cardiac care, we are committed to providing revolutionary heart care in the Chattanooga area,” said Helen Kuroki, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer, CHI Memorial.  “We are honored to be a Blue Distinction Center+ for Cardiac Care and will remain devoted to ensuring our patients receive the highest quality cardiac care available.”

“This designation confirms our commitment to provide heart care that can’t be matched anywhere else in our region,” said William Warren, M.D., FACC, chairman of the board, The Chattanooga Heart Institute.  “Our dedicated physicians and staff work tirelessly to provide the highest level cardiac care available.  This kind of heart care is only available at The Chattanooga Heart Institute and pushes us to be better every single day.”

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., claiming more than 610,000 lives—1 in 4—each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. By 2030, 40.5 percent of the U.S. population is projected to have some form of cardiovascular disease, and the cost of cardiac care is expected to reach $818 billion by 2030—an increase of almost 300 percent from 2010, according to the American Heart Association. The Blue Distinction Specialty Care program seeks to reduce this burden by empowering patients with the knowledge and tools to find both quality and value for their cardiac care.

“BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is pleased to congratulate CHI Memorial on this achievement,” said Dr. Andrea Willis, chief medical officer for BlueCross. “We believe it’s important to recognize these facilities and their ongoing commitment to provide high quality care. The Blue Distinction recognition provides BlueCross members with the peace of mind they need when making important decisions regarding medical treatment.”

Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, maternity care, spine surgery and transplants, while encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the care they deliver.

Research shows that facilities designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients compared with their peers. On average, facilities designated as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Cardiac Care are 20 percent more cost efficient in an episode of care compared to non-Blue Distinction Center+ designated healthcare facilities. 


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