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West Jefferson Medical Center Recognized for Quality in Cardiac Care |Hospital among first to receive new designation for delivering quality and cost‐efficient cardiac procedures

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has recognized West Jefferson Medical Center (WJMC) as one of the first hospitals in the nation to receive a Blue Distinction Center+SM designation in the area of cardiac care, as part of the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program. Blue Distinction Centers are hospitals shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective, transparent measures for patient safety and health outcomes that were developed with input from the medical community. This year, the national program has added a new designation level, Blue Distinction Centers+, to recognize hospitals that deliver both quality and cost‐efficient specialty care.

In 2006, the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program was developed to help patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs while encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the care they deliver. To receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Cardiac CareSM designation, a hospital must demonstrate success in meeting both general quality and safety criteria (such as preventing hospital‐acquired infections) and cardiac‐specific quality measures (related to lower rates of complications and death following cardiac surgery; and non‐surgical procedures, such as cardiac stent placement) and, additionally, must show 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+. WJMC is proud to be recognized by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana for meeting the rigorous cardiac care selection criteria set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program.

“The Blue Cross Distinction Center+ recognition in the area of cardiac care is an affirmation of the strong teamwork and high-quality care delivery that the physicians, nurses and ancillary staff practice. The community can feel confident in knowing that they have access to such excellent options for cardiac care,” said Nancy R. Cassagne, WJMC’s CEO.  

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming nearly 600,000 lives each year. Cardiac procedures, including bypass and cardiac stent placement, are among the most common major medical procedures provided by the US health care system, with more than 1 million procedures performed annually. These cardiac‐related procedures 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.  

“We’re very excited about this expansion of the Blue Distinction program to recognize hospitals for excellence in cardiac care,” said Dr. David Carmouche, chief medical officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. “The expanded emphasis on both quality and cost-efficiency takes the program to a new level. As for our Nancy R. Cassagne Chief Executive Officer Board of Directors: Harry L. “Chip” Cahill Chairman Frank C. Di Vincenti, M.D. Vice-Chairman James Cramond Secretary-Treasurer David F. Andignac Barry Bordelon Timothy Kerner William A. Lazaro, Jr. Dwayne J. Munch, Sr. Otholino Remedios, M.D. Jennifer Stewart 2 network facilities that have been named Blue Distinction Centers +, we are proud of their commitment. We are eager to continue working with these top providers to give our mutual customers access to quality, affordable healthcare.”

Research shows that Blue Distinction Centers+ demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications following certain cardiac procedures and lower rates of healthcare associated infections, compared with their peers. Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent more cost-efficient for those same 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 comprise approximately 30 percent of inpatient hospital expenditures.  For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit