MarinHealth announced today that it has been recognized by Blue Shield of California 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 State has the highest maternal mortality rate (MMR), at approximately 17.4 deaths per 100,000 live births, with the MMR steadily increasing since 2000¹. 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 women².
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 cesarean sections, and racial and ethnic disparities in maternal healthcare. In 2018, facilities that received designations under the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program cared for more than 40% of Blue Cross and Blue Shield commercially insured women giving birth across the country.
"As Marin's only hospital resource for labor and delivery we are proud to be recognized by Blue Shield of California for meeting the rigorous quality selection criteria for maternity care set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program," said Dr. David G. Klein, Chief Executive Officer, at MarinHealth. "We are pleased to offer parents-to-be a wide array of expertise and services that make planning, delivering, and caring for a new baby a personalized and exceptional experience."
In fall of 2020, MarinHealth relocated maternity services to its new Oak Pavilion in a beautifully appointed state-of-the-art space that's specially designed to enhance safety, security, and comfort. To take a virtual tour of the new facility and listen to maternity podcasts from expert providers, please visit: https://www.mymarinhealth.org/maternity
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.
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. Research shows that, compared to other providers, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients.