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HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital among first to get Blue Distinction for maternity care


BELLEVILLE — In an effort to help prospective parents find hospitals that deliver quality, affordable maternity care, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois recently announced that HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital has been designated as one of the first hospitals to receive the Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designation, a new designation under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

The program evaluates hospitals on several quality measures, including the percentage of newborns that fall into the category of early elective delivery, an ongoing concern in the medical community. Compared with babies born 39 weeks or later, early term infants face higher risks of infant death and respiratory ailments such as respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, and respiratory failure, among other conditions. These babies also have a higher rate of admission to Neonatal Intensive Care Units.

“St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is dedicated to serving moms and babies in our region with high-quality, high-value care and we are pleased to receive this special designation from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois’ for our efforts,” said Desaree Lehr, RNC-EFM, BSN and Manager of St. Elizabeth’s Mother Child Center.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies across the nation have recognized more than 650 hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care. Hospitals recognized for these designations were assessed using a combination of publicly available quality information and cost measures derived from BCBS companies’ medical claims.

HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is part of Hospital Sisters Health System’s Southern Illinois Division which also includes HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland. Both St. Anthony’s Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese were also designated Blue Distinction Centers+ for quality cost effective maternity services.

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