Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan recognizes 20 local hospitals for quality in cardiac care

Hospitals commended for delivering quality and cost-efficient cardiac procedures

July 17, 2013

DETROIT — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan today recognized 20 hospitals in the state of Michigan for delivering quality cardiac care and for doing so cost-efficiently, as part of the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program. These noteworthy hospitals have been designated either as Blue Distinction Centers®, for delivering quality care, or as Blue Distinction Centers+ SM, for delivering quality care while also meeting key requirements for cost-efficiency.

In 2006, the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program was developed to help patients find quality providers for specialty care by identifying hospitals that meet objective, transparent, nationally consistent measures that were developed with input from the medical community. To receive a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care® designation, a hospital must demonstrate success in meeting both general quality and safety criteria (such as preventing hospital-acquired infections). They must also meet cardiac-specific quality measures related to lower rates of complications and death following cardiac surgery, and non-surgical procedures, such as cardiac stent placement.

Hospitals receiving the Blue Distinction Center+ for Cardiac CareSM designation — a new designation level added to the program this year — have met the Blue Distinction Centers standards for quality, while also demonstrating better cost efficiency relative to their peers. Quality is key: Only those facilities that first meet Blue Distinction’s nationally established, objective quality measures will be considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+. 

Today, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is proud to announce that two hospitals have been recognized as Blue Distinction Centers and 18 as Blue Distinction Centers+ for their Cardiac Care programs. 

In Michigan, hospitals must also participate in the Michigan Blues' Collaborative Quality Initiative programs, when applicable, in order to earn Blue Distinction designation. These Collaborative Quality Initiative programs have resulted in rapid quality and safety improvement in some of the most common and costly medical and surgical areas of care. In fact, four of the initiatives – focusing on general surgery, cardiac surgery, bariatric surgery and angioplasty – have resulted in cost savings of more than $232 million over three years due to avoided complications and improved safety. 

"Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is proud to recognize these hospitals for their excellence in Cardiac Care. The 21 recipients of the Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care have demonstrated a high standard of quality," said David Share, M.D., senior vice president, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. "Michigan residents can feel confident knowing that they have access to a wide range of excellent options should they need cardiac care."

Hospitals earning designation include:                                            

  • Allegiance Health, Jackson (BDC+)
  • Bay Regional Medical Center, Bay City (BDC+)
  • Borgess Medical Center, Kalamazoo (BDC+)
  • Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo (BDC+)
  • Crittenton Hospital Medical Center, Rochester (BDC+)
  • Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit (BDC+)
  • Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, Clinton Township (BDC+)
  • Lakeland Hospitals at Niles and St. Joseph (BDC+)
  • McLaren Regional Medical Center, Flint (BDC+)
  • Mercy Health Partners – Mercy Campus, Muskegon (BDC+)
  • Mt. Clemens General Hospital (BDC+)
  • Providence Hospital and Medical Centers, Southfield (BDC+)
  • Sinai Grace Hospital, Detroit
  • Sparrow Hospital, Lansing (BDC+)
  • Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, Grand Rapids (BDC+)
  • St. John Macomb Oakland Hospital, Warren
  • St. Joseph Mercy – Ann Arbor (BDC+)
  • St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, Pontiac (BDC+)
  • University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor (BDC+)
  • William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak (BDC+)
  • William Beaumont Hospital, Troy (BDC+)

Cardiac-related procedures, such as bypass and cardiac stent placement, cost the nation more than $28 billion annually. The Blue Distinction Centers for 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 needs.

Research shows that Blue Distinction Centers and Blue Distinction Centers+ demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications following certain cardiac procedures and lower rates of health care-associated infections compared with their peers. Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent more cost-efficient than nondesignated hospitals for those same cardiac procedures.

The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program identifies hospitals delivering quality care in bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery and transplants. These specialty areas account for approximately 30 percent of inpatient hospital expenditures. For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.


Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 38 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for 100 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and 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.


Blue Distinction Centers® (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. Blue Distinction Centers+SM (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable health care. Individual outcomes may vary. National criteria are displayed on www.bcbs.com. A local Blue plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area. For details on local Blue plan criteria, a provider’s in-network status, or your own policy’s coverage, contact your local Blue plan. Each hospital’s cost index is calculated with data from its local Blue plan. Hospitals in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in two local Blue plans’ areas, resulting in two cost index figures; and their own local Blue plans decide whether one or both cost index figures must meet BDC+ national criteria. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue plans are responsible for damages or non-covered charges resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.


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