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HRMC recognized for quality maternity care

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BLUE DISTINCTION — HRMC was recognized for higher quality and cost efficiency in maternity care. Pictured are, left, Andria Smith, RNC-OB, CCE, CBC and Director of Women’s Care Services, and Rachel Hyatt, RN, BSN and Child Birth Educator.

Haywood Regional Medical Center (HRMC) has been recognized by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina with a Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care designation, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

Racial and ethnic disparities are persistent and widespread across maternal healthcare, primarily driven by socioeconomic status, geographic location and implicit provider bias.

Compared to similarly developed countries such as Canada, Germany and Australia, the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate (MMR) at approximately 17.4 deaths per 100,000 live births, with the MMR steadily increasing since 2000.

According to the CDC, non-Hispanic Black women are two to three times more likely to die from preventable or treatable pregnancy-related complications compared to white women.

To help address these gaps in care and to help ensure the better health of mothers, The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association enhanced its quality evaluation for the Maternity Care program to address key factors driving the United States’ maternal health crisis, such as preventable or treatable pregnancy-related conditions, high utilization of Caesarean sections, and racial and ethnic disparities in maternal healthcare.

HRMC is proud to be recognized by Blue Cross NC for meeting the rigorous Blue Distinction Centers+ quality selection criteria for maternity care set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

Greg Caples, HRMC CEO, shared, “This recognition from Blue Cross NC speaks to the dedication and attention our Women’s Care team puts forth every day to every mom and family in our hospital. We are proud to offer quality maternity care close to home.”

In 2020, the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care Program was expanded beyond traditional outcome measures to include assessments of internal quality improvement, data collection and dissemination, and internal protocols that better address clinical quality and equity issues in maternity care. New in the evaluation cycle, facilities must collect race ethnicity data, have a maternal quality improvement program, commence drills and simulations for adverse events, and have dedicated protocols and procedures for the management of hypertension and hemorrhage.

In addition, they must meet clinical outcome metrics at a higher standard than required previously. Specifically, the rate for low-risk, first-time cesarean sections (NTSV c-section rate, PC-02) has been aligned with the revised Healthy People 2020 goals. Facilities eligible for the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity care show statistically significant differences in key clinical outcomes compared to their peers.

Quality is key: Only those health care facilities that first meet Blue Distinction’s nationally established, objective quality measures will be considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+.

For more information about the program and a list of designated providers, visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.

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