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Published on May 17, 2010

Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital Designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care®

Darby, PA - Independence Blue Cross has designated Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital as a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care. To date, more than 400 facilities nationwide have received a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care designation.

The need for quality cardiac care is urgent. The American Heart Association estimates that this year alone, 1.2 million Americans will experience a first or recurrent heart attack.

Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care demonstrate their commitment to quality care, resulting in better overall outcomes for cardiac patients. Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital meets evidence-based clinical criteria, developed in collaboration with expert physicians' and medical organizations, including the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), and is subject to periodic re-evaluation as criteria continue to evolve.*

"We are honored to receive this distinction for our cardiac program," said Brian Finestein, Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital Chief Executive Officer. "This distinction recognizes not only our achievements in cardiac care, but also speaks well to the expertise and commitment of the physicians, nurses and clinicians of our heart and vascular team."

Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital is home to the comprehensive Mercy Heart and Vascular program, which includes non-invasive diagnostic testing, acute care, heart and vascular catheterization, the latest in heart surgery techniques (including coronary artery bypass graft surgery) in partnership with Penn Cardiac Care at Mercy and nationally certified cardiac rehabilitation.**

"Our core mission at Independence Blue Cross is to improve access to high-quality, affordably priced health care, and to accomplish that we need to build strong partnerships with physicians and hospitals," said Richard L. Snyder, MD, chief medical officer at Independence Blue Cross.  "The Blue Distinction program highlights for our members those hospitals with a strong track record of success in cardiac care."

"Blue Distinction puts a high value on research and evidence-based health and medical information," says Allan Korn, MD, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association chief medical officer. "Blue Distinction Centers show our commitment to working with doctors and hospitals in communities across the country to identify leading institutions that meet clinically validated quality standards and deliver better overall outcomes in patient care."

To be designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care, Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital met the selection criteria which includes:

  • an established cardiac care  program, performing required annual volumes for certain procedures
  • appropriate experience of its cardiac team, including sub-specialty board certification for interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons
  • an established acute care inpatient facility, including intensive care, emergency and a full range of cardiac services
  • full facility accreditation by a CMS-deemed national accreditation organization
  • low overall complication and mortality rates
  • a comprehensive quality management program

Blue Distinction is a designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality healthcare. The designation is based on rigorous, evidence-based selection criteria established in collaboration with expert physicians' and medical organizations' recommendations. Today, more than 1,600 Blue Distinction Center designations have been awarded to facilities nationwide, providing consumers with a framework for making informed decisions on where to go for specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacement, spine surgery, and transplants.

* These organizations have provided information and input, but do not formally endorse the Blue Distinction Centers program.

Note: Designation as Blue Distinction Centers means these facilities overall experience and aggregate data met objective criteria established in collaboration with expert clinicians and leading professional organizations' recommendations. Individual outcomes may vary. To find out which services are covered under your policy at any facilities, please call your local Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield Plan.

Bernice Manallo Ho

Director, Marketing and Communications

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Before or after regular business hours

1500 Lansdowne Avenue
Darby, PA 19023