Racial and ethnic disparities are persistent and widespread across maternal healthcare. Compared to similarly developed countries, the United State has the highest maternal mortality rate (MMR) at approximately 17.4 deaths per 100,000 live births. 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.
Mercy Health Lorain Hospital is proud to be recognized by Anthem for meeting the rigorous Blue Distinction Centers+ quality selection criteria for maternity care set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.
“We believe every mother deserves a safe and healthy place to deliver their baby. This recognition is indicative of that commitment to providing high-quality, compassionate maternity care,” said Char Wray, Chief Operating Officer at Mercy Health - Lorain. “I am so thankful for our staff who carry out our mission of being good help to those in need, a mission that embodies the goals of the Blue Distinction Program: recognition of diversity, inclusion, quality improvement and patient safety. We are extremely proud of our program and the work being done to support moms throughout their delivery and beyond.”
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. Facilities eligible for the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity care show statistically significant differences in key clinical outcomes compared to their peers.