Palomar Medical Birth Centers Recognized for Higher Quality in Maternity Care


The Birth Centers at Palomar Medical Centers Escondido and Poway have been recognized by Blue Shield of California with a Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) for Maternity Care designation for providing higher quality maternity care.

To achieve the designation, the birth centers had to meet rigorous BDC quality selection criteria for maternity care set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Birth centers earning the designation demonstrate expertise and a commitment to quality care for vaginal and cesarean section deliveries. These Centers demonstrate better overall patient satisfaction and a lower percentage of early elective deliveries.

In 2020, the 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.

Racial and ethnic disparities are persistent and widespread across maternal healthcare, primarily driven by socioeconomic status, geographic location, and implicit provider bias. 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 Caesarean sections, and racial and ethnic disparities in maternal healthcare.

Research shows that, compared to other providers, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients.

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