Tyler, Texas (February 24, 2021)) – UT Health Tyler (part of UT Health East Texas) has been recognized by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas with a Blue Distinction® Centers+ (BDC+) for Maternity Care designation, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.
"Our maternity team believes every mother deserves a safe and healthy place to deliver their baby. This recognition is indicative of that commitment to providing high-quality maternity care," said Vicki Briggs, CEO of UT Health Tyler. "We are expanding on our commitment by building a neonatal intensive care unit, which will open later this year."
UT Health Tyler was recognized by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas for meeting the rigorous Blue Distinction Centers+ quality and cost selection criteria for maternity care set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Quality is key: only those healthcare facilities that first meet Blue Distinction's nationally established, objective quality measures are considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+. Research shows that, compared to other providers, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients.
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 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.
Overall, cost of care episodes for vaginal and cesarean births at BDC+ facilities are 20% less than those at non-Blue Distinction Centers+ facilities. The rates of episiotomies were 49% less at Blue Distinction Centers (BDC and BDC+) than those at non-Blue Distinction Centers (BDC and BDC+). In 2018, BDC/BDC+ facilities across the country cared for more than 40% of Blue Cross and Blue Shield commercially insured women giving birth.
Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cancer care, cardiac care, cellular immunotherapy, fertility care, gene therapy, knee and hip replacement, maternity care, spine surgery, substance use treatment and recovery and transplants, while encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the care they deliver.
For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated providers, visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.
Click here for more information about our Family Birthplace at UT Health Tyler.
All companies and trademarks listed above are the property of their respective owners and used for identification purposes only, and are in no way associated or affiliated with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Use of these trademarks does not imply endorsement. The Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® names and symbols and Blue Distinction® are registered trademarks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
About UT Health East Texas
UT Health East Texas provides care to thousands of patients each year through an extensive regional network that includes 10 hospitals, more than 50 clinics, the Olympic Plaza Tower, 13 regional rehabilitation facilities, two freestanding emergency centers, regional home health services covering 41 counties, an EMS fleet of more than 50 ambulances and four helicopters, and a comprehensive seven-trauma center care network, including the region's only Level 1 trauma facility.
As a partner with The University of Texas System, UT Health East Texas is uniquely positioned to provide patients with access to leading-edge research and clinical therapies while training and educating the next generation of physicians and other health professionals. The nationally recognized UT System also includes UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, as well as three other major university medical centers located throughout the state.
About the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for one in three Americans. BCBSA provides health care insights through The Health of America Report series and the national BCBS Health IndexSM. For more information on BCBSA and its member companies, please visit www.bcbs.com. We also encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out our blog.
Blue Distinction Centers Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures, developed with input from the medical community. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for providers located in its own service area; for details, contact your Local Blue Plan. Blue Distinction Centers+ (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers' need for affordable healthcare. Each provider's cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Providers in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in two Local Blue Plans' areas, resulting in two evaluations for cost of care; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both cost of care evaluation(s) must meet BDC+ national criteria. National criteria for BDC and BDC+ are displayed on www.bcbs.com. Individual outcomes may vary. For details on a provider's in-network status or your own policy's coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan and ask your provider before making an appointment. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for noncovered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.