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CHI Memorial Earns Blue Distinction® Center+

CHI Memorial Earns Blue Distinction® Center+

Designation for Quality and Cost-Efficiency in Cardiac Care 

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has designated CHI Memorial 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 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+. 

CHI Memorial is proud to be recognized by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee for meeting the rigorous selection criteria for cardiac care set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

“As the region’s leader in cardiac care, we are committed to providing revolutionary heart care in the Chattanooga area”, says Helen Kuroki, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer, CHI Memorial.  “We are honored to be a Blue Distinction Center+ for Cardiac Care and will remain devoted to ensuring our patients receive the highest quality cardiac care available.”

“This designation confirms our commitment to provide heart care that can’t be matched anywhere else in our region,” says William Warren, M.D., FACC, chairman of the board, The Chattanooga Heart Institute.  “Our dedicated physicians and staff work tirelessly to provide the highest level cardiac care available.  This kind of heart care is only available at The Chattanooga Heart Institute and pushes us to be better every single day.”

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.1 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 by 2030—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.

“BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is pleased to congratulate CHI Memorial on this achievement,” said Dr. Andrea Willis, chief medical officer for BlueCross. “We believe it’s important to recognize these facilities and their ongoing commitment to provide high quality care. The Blue Distinction recognition provides BlueCross members with the peace of mind they need when making important decisions regarding medical treatment.”

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 www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2013 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released 2015. Data are from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2013, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program: http://wonder.cdc.gov/ucd-icd10.html. Accessed on Feb 3, 2015. 

About CHI Memorial and The Chattanooga Heart Institute

CHI Memorial is a not-for-profit, faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to the healing ministry of the Church. Founded by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth and strengthened as part of Catholic Health Initiatives, it offers a continuum of care including preventative, primary and acute hospital care, as well as cancer and cardiac care, orthopedic and rehabilitation services.  With 23 board¬-certified cardiologists—including specialists in interventional procedures, electrophysiology, imaging and vascular disease— and three cardiothoracic surgeons on staff, The Chattanooga Heart Institute at Memorial offers a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to cardiac care.  Our cardiologists exceed national standards for education, training and skill—putting The Chattanooga Heart Institute at Memorial on par with the nation’s top cardiovascular practices.  With six locations in Chattanooga, Hixson, Ooltewah, Cleveland, and Jasper, Tennessee and Ringgold, Georgia, The Chattanooga Heart Institute offers access to the region’s leading cardiologists in locations convenient for you.  To learn more about CHI Memorial, visit www.memorial.org.  To learn more about The Chattanooga Heart Institute, visit www.ChattanoogaHeart.com.

About BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee®

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s mission is to provide peace of mind through better health. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on serving more than 3.4 million members in Tennessee and across the country. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at bcbst.com.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

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 healthcare coverage for nearly 105 million members – one in three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit www.BCBS.com.  We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog for up-to-date information about BCBSA.

About Blue Distinction Centers

Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities 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 facility’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Facilities 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 non-covered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.

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