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Prestigious Blue Distinction® Center for Quality, Safe Maternity Care Awarded to The Women’s Hospital at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center

Prestigious Blue Distinction® Center for Quality, Safe Maternity Care Awarded to The Women’s Hospital at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center
Laguna Hills, CA, April 11, 2016 --( Anthem Blue Cross/Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield announced that The Women’s Hospital at Saddleback Memorial has been designated as 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 hospital admissions. The Women’s Hospital at Saddleback Memorial delivers nearly 3,000 babies per year, and of these, approximately 10 percent are high-risk births and high-risk multiples.

Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care, an expansion of the national Blue Distinction Specialty Care program, are hospitals recognized for delivering quality specialty care safely and effectively, based on objective measures developed with input from the medical community.

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.

“On the heels of our 25th anniversary of The Women’s Hospital, which is the birthplace of more than 70,000 little miracles, we are honored to receive this distinction because it demonstrates our high-level commitment to quality maternity care for parents, right here in South Orange County,” said Steve Geidt Saddleback Memorial Chief Executive Officer.

In addition, hospitals that receive a Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care designation agreed to meet requirements that align with principles that support evidence-based best practices of care, as well as having initiated programs to promote successful breastfeeding, as described in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative by Baby-Friendly USA or the Mother-Friendly Hospital program by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) through its “Ten Steps of Mother-Friendly Care.” The program also evaluates hospitals on overall patient satisfaction, including patients’ willingness to recommend the hospital to others.

“This distinction speaks volumes of the entire health care team at the Women’s of Saddleback Memorial,” said Terri Deeds, the hospital’s Director of Women’s and Children’s Services. “We’re blessed with a team of highly trained obstetricians, pediatricians and other specialists, as well as an exemplary professional nursing staff who are sensitive to the needs of new mothers and their babies, and are committed to providing the highest level of service.”

Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies across the nation have recognized more than 280 hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care. Hospitals recognized for these designations were assessed using a combination of publicly available quality information and cost measures derived from BCBS companies’ medical claims.

Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery and transplants. Research shows that, compared to other facilities, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients.

For more information about the program, visit

Saddleback Memorial’s Award Winning Care
Saddleback Memorial is continually honored for exceptional medical expertise that offers high quality, compassionate care for patients and families at every stage of their lives. For the second consecutive year, Saddleback Memorial Medical Center has been named as one of only 1 percent of the 4,500 hospitals nationwide to receive the Healthgrades 2016 America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award™. In addition, the hospital received Becker’s Healthcare Top U.S. Hospitals and American Heart Association Get with the Guidelines highest honor - Gold Plus for cardiac and stroke care. The hospital also has been voted the #1 Hospital in Orange County in the Orange County Register’s “Best of OC’s People’s Choice & Critics’ Picks” for the last two consecutive years.

Saddleback Memorial’s centers of excellence are renowned for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, heart disease, stroke, pulmonary disease, orthopedics and diabetes; and for leadership in emergency medicine, critical care medicine, breast health, outpatient rehabilitation, advanced imaging, women’s health, geriatric care and surgery, including robotic-assisted procedures. The Women’s Hospital at Saddleback Memorial Laguna Hills includes personalized obstetrics care, a highly regarded perinatal program, and a Level III neonatal intensive care unit that specializes in high-risk pregnancies and caring for fragile newborns. To learn more, go to

About MemorialCare Health System
MemorialCare Health System is a nonprofit integrated delivery system that includes six top hospitals – Long Beach Memorial, Miller Children's & Women's Hospital Long Beach, Community Hospital Long Beach, Orange Coast Memorial, and Saddleback Memorial Laguna Hills and San Clemente; medical groups – MemorialCare Medical Group and Greater Newport Physicians; a health plan – Seaside Health Plan; and numerous outpatient health centers, imaging centers, surgery centers and dialysis centers throughout the Southland (Orange County and Los Angeles County). For more information, visit

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for nearly 105 million members – one in three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit 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.

About Blue Distinction Centers
Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area; for details, contact your Local Blue Plan. Blue Distinction Centers+ (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable health care. Each facility’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Facilities in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in two Local Blue Plans’ areas, resulting in two evaluations for cost of care; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both cost of care evaluation(s) must meet BDC+ national criteria. National criteria for BDC and BDC+ are displayed on Individual outcomes may vary. For details on a provider’s in-network status or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan and ask your provider before making an appointment. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for non-covered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.
Contact Information
Saddleback Memorial Medical Center
Jeff Merkow
Ciarra Cox

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