FRAMINGHAM – In an effort to help prospective parents find hospitals that deliver high quality, cost-efficient maternity care, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has named MetroWest Medical Center as a Blue Distinction® Center for Maternity Care under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program., according to a press release from the Framingham-based hospital.
“We are so proud of this designation, and it is a testament to our efforts to provide high-quality, safe and effective care to expectant mothers and their families.” said MetroWest Medical Center CEO, Jeffrey Liebman, in a statement. “We recognize that each family has a unique birth plan, and our labor and delivery team is honored each and every time a new mom chooses us for their delivery.”
Nearly four million babies are born in the U.S. annually, making childbirth the most common cause of hospitalization.
The 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.
In addition, hospitals that receive a Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care designation agree 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 (CIMS) through its “Ten Steps of Mother-Friendly Care.” The program also evaluates hospitals on overall patient satisfaction, including a willingness to recommend the hospital to others. Other criteria includes delivering quality specialty care safely and effectively based on objective measures developed with input from the medical community.
Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs across many different areas including bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery and transplants.
MetroWest Medical Center is the largest community health care system between Worcester and Boston. It provides comprehensive acute care services in two locations: Leonard Morse in Natick and Framingham Union in Framingham.