Contact: Daniel Murphy
Release: April 2009
Moon Twp., PA (April 27, 2009)
– Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Pittsburgh, Pa has designated the Beaver Campus of Heritage Valley Health System as a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care. To date, more than 400 facilities nationwide have received a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care designation.
To be designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care, Heritage Valley Beaver met the selection criteria posted at www.BCBS.com, which includes:
- an established cardiac care program, performing required annual volumes for certain procedures (e.g. a minimum of 125 cardiac surgical procedures annually, including both CABG and/or valve surgery)
- appropriate experience of its cardiac team, including sub-specialty board certification for interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons
- an established acute care inpatient facility, including intensive care, emergency and a full range of cardiac services
- full accreditation by The Joint Commission, Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) or national equivalent**
- low overall complication and mortality rates
- a comprehensive quality management program
The need for quality cardiac care is urgent: The American Heart Association estimates that this year alone, 1.2 million Americans will experience a first or recurrent heart attack. Heritage Valley Beaver offers comprehensive cardiac care services, including inpatient cardiac care, cardiac rehabilitation, cardiac catheterization and cardiac surgery (including coronary artery bypass graft surgery).**
Rose Nolan, chief operating officer at Heritage Valley Health System, stated “The recertification for Heritage Valley Beaver as a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care from Highmark validates the hard work our physicians and cardiac team have put into the program over the past several years. We are very proud to offer these cardiac services to all people in the communities we serve.”
As part of Blue Distinction®, facilities are required to reapply periodically for re-evaluation. This review process confirms that all Blue Distinction Centers®, new and old, continue to meet Blue Distinction’s evidence-based quality thresholds, determined in collaboration with expert physicians and organizations. It also provides an opportunity to improve the overall quality of care, by requiring all Blue Distinction Centers to meet selection criteria that keep abreast with ongoing advances in clinical practice.
Blue Distinction is a designation awarded by Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality healthcare. The designation is based on rigorous, evidence-based selection criteria established in collaboration with expert physicians’ and medical organizations’ recommendations. Today, more than 800 Blue Distinction Center designations have been awarded to facilities nationwide, providing consumers with a framework for making informed decisions on where to go for specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, and transplants.
“Blue Distinction puts a high value on research and evidence-based health and medical information,” says Allan Korn, MD, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Chief Medical Officer. “Blue Distinction Centers show our commitment to working with doctors and hospitals in communities across the country to identify leading institutions that meet clinically validated quality standards and deliver better overall outcomes in patient care.”
About Heritage Valley Health System
Heritage Valley Health System provides comprehensive healthcare for residents of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties, in Pennsylvania; eastern Ohio; and the panhandle of West Virginia. In partnership with more than 400 physicians, Heritage Valley offers a broad range of medical, surgical and diagnostic services at its two hospitals, Heritage Valley Beaver and Heritage Valley Sewickley; in physician offices; and community satellite facilities. Additional information about Heritage Valley Health System is available online at www.heritagevalley.org.
** At the discretion of the local BCBS Plan and under a specified contingency process, a facility that provides the full range of cardiac services but does not provide on-site coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery may be considered for Blue Distinction designation if it is part of a cooperative system with a qualifying facility that provides emergency backup CABG for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and meets our contingency criteria. Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care without on-site CABG will be differentiated from full-service Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care in program listings.
Note: Designation as Blue Distinction Centers means these facilities' overall experience and aggregate data met objective criteria established in collaboration with expert clinicians' and leading professional organizations’ recommendations. Individual outcomes may vary. To find out which services are covered under your policy at any facilities, please call your local Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield Plan.