Press Releases

Methodist hospitals recognized for high-quality maternity care

Published: May 7, 2024

Methodist Women’s Hospital and Methodist Fremont Health are proud to each be recognized by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) with a Blue Distinction® Centers (BDC) for Maternity Care designation as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. To earn this designation, each facility must deliver quality care safely and effectively.

The Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program plays a key role in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s (BCBSA) National Health Equity Strategy, which is aimed at reducing racial health disparities across the care spectrum and improving patient outcomes for all Americans. To align with this strategy, the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program enhanced its quality and measurement standards to recognize higher-quality facilities that have taken action to respond effectively to obstetric emergencies, reduce racial disparities and improve maternal health outcomes.

Based on data from the current designation cycle, facilities designated under the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program demonstrate higher-quality care compared to non-Blue Distinction Center facilities, with overall average rates of 26% lower episiotomies, 60% fewer elective deliveries and 17% lower C-section births – all  of which point to healthier outcomes for patients.

“I know I speak for all of our providers and clinical teams when I say how well deserved this designation is,” said Patty Bauer, vice president of Methodist Women’s Hospital. “Our clinical leaders work tirelessly to ensure that best practices and a compassionate approach remain the cornerstones of our care. This recognition further gives families peace of mind that we are always striving for the best possible outcomes when it comes to their health and well-being.”

The Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program’s selection criteria were devised to close clinical care gaps and reduce inequities that persist throughout the maternal care spectrum. The selection criteria include components of BCBSA’s Maternal Health Equity Actions, which dismantle the cultural, operational and structural barriers that have created inequities in maternal care.

To be designated under this program, each applicant facility was evaluated on patient outcomes as well as the practices implemented to reduce racial disparities and improve maternal health outcomes, such as:

  • Using evidence-based best practices to respond effectively to obstetric emergencies
  • Offering unconscious bias training
  • Participating in the regional Perinatal Quality Collaborative
  • Having doula support available
  • Collecting race, ethnicity and language data
  • Having a program dedicated to quality improvements in maternal care
  • Running drills and simulations to ensure that providers are prepared to deal with a range of obstetric emergencies
  • Demonstrating health outcomes that exceed the selection criteria from our program’s previous evaluation cycle

“Methodist Fremont Health is honored to be recognized for meeting such rigorous maternal standards,” said Melinda Kentfield, vice president and chief nursing executive at Methodist Fremont Health. “Our labor and delivery teams are committed to not only maintaining, but always improving the comfort and safety of moms and babies. And we’re beyond proud that their dedication to area families is being noticed nationwide.”

“We’re equally proud to work with providers like Methodist Women’s Hospital and Methodist Fremont Health,” said Dr. Josette Gordon-Simet, chief medical officer at BCBSNE. “Each year, we strive to create better relationships with our providers who, in turn, create better care and treatment experiences for our members. These Methodist hospitals have dedicated time and resources toward developing training, drills and upgrades to improve their maternal health outcomes. This distinction shows just how hard our providers work to meet not only our standards but also the standards of our members.”

Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality specialty care at lower costs 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 health care professionals to improve the care they deliver.  

For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated providers, visit the Blue Cross Blue Shield website.