The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) recognizes certain programs that provide the full range of inpatient cardiac care services as Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care. These programs have demonstrated quality outcomes and offer coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), heart valve surgery, and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
At the beginning of each evaluation cycle, BCBSA issues a provider survey to eligible programs. Each cycle, the Evaluation Components are updated based on best practices, industry changes, and other factors deemed necessary by BCBSA. The Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care 2022 Evaluation Components are available online.
Evaluation Components typically include information about the facility, registry data, patient outcomes data, and information from insurance claims. Business and cost of care information are also considered.
New to the 2022 survey is a question about cardiac program accreditation or certification. Currently, the question is only being used for information gathering purposes and is not a requirement to be designated as a Blue Distinction Center. BCBSA has confirmed, however, that Corazon Accreditation does apply to this question and added a footnote clarifying that the accreditation list included in the survey was not exhaustive.
As an accrediting body for cardiovascular programs, Corazon works to ensure clients have access to the most up-to-date standards related to best practice cardiovascular care. This includes all of the following services:
· Open heart surgery (valve and CABG),
· Interventional cardiology (Cath/PCI),
· Electrophysiology (devices and ablations),
· Peripheral vascular interventions (PVI),
· Chest Pain Center (STEMI recognition and triage),
· Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR),
· Ambulatory surgery center services (PVI, Cath/PCI where approved), and
· Cardiovascular Service Line of Excellence (any 3 or more accredited programs).
Programs like Corazon Accreditation and the Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care recognize the effort that hospitals put into achieving positive patient outcomes. These distinguishments also present opportunities for continual improvement and ensure that programs maintain that same level of dedication every day for every patient.