COOPERSTOWN – In an effort to help prospective parents find hospitals that deliver quality maternity care, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield announced that Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, NY, is 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.
Nearly four million babies are born in the U.S. annually, making childbirth the most common cause of hospitalization. This new Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care 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.
“Bassett’s Women’s Health providers have been committed to educating women about the serious risks associated with early delivery from the time the Bassett Birthing Center was founded; it is a basic part of our prenatal education. As a result, we have been successful in bucking the trend the industry is seeing across the country,” observes Bassett’s Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology Dr. Siobhan Hayden. “Nonetheless, the occurrence of elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks is worrisome and we encourage attempts to reverse this trend.”