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Published on March 14, 2016

Palos Hospital Earns Blue Distinction® Center+ Specialty Care Designation for Quality in Cardiac Care

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) has designated Palos Hospital 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 that were 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+. 

Palos is proud to be recognized by Blue Cross and Blue of Shield of Illinois for meeting the rigorous selection criteria for cardiac care set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

“Palos is committed to providing quality cardiac care, and this distinction highlights our dedication to our patients,” said Terrence Moisan, M.D., President and CEO of Palos Health.

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 - 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. 

“I want to congratulate Palos Community Hospital for this commitment to quality, and helping members better manage their care through the Blue Distinction Specialty Care Program,” says Opella Ernest, M.D., BCBSIL chief medical officer and divisional senior vice president of Network Management.“ This patient centered approach provides attention to patients across the health care spectrum – from helping our members who are the sickest utilize medical services more efficiently, to finding ways that enable healthy people to stay that way.” 

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.

For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit