Freeman News

Freeman Health System Recognized for Delivering Quality Cardiac and Maternity Care

April 11, 2016

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri has recognized Freeman Health System as a Blue Distinction® Center+ for Maternity Care and Cardiac Care.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri has recognized Freeman Health System as a Blue Distinction® Center+ for Maternity Care and Cardiac Care. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated healthcare facilities shown to deliver improved patient safety and better outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community.

The Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designation is new under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. This new program evaluates hospitals on several quality measures, including the percentage of newborns that fall into the category of early elective delivery. Compared to 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. These babies also have a higher rate of admission to neonatal intensive care units.

“Freeman takes pride in delivering this level of care for each and every birth,” said Paula F. Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer. “We know that expectant mothers and newborns will continue to receive world-class care close to home.”

Hospitals that receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designation meet requirements aligned with principles of evidence-based care and initiate programs to promote successful breastfeeding. Hospitals also meet requirements for cost-efficiency.

To receive a Blue Distinction Center+ Cardiac Care designation, hospitals must demonstrate better cost-efficiency compared to their peers. Freeman demonstrated its expertise in delivering safe and effective cardiac care, focusing on cardiac valve surgery, coronary artery bypass graft and percutaneous coronary interventions.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more than 610,000 lives – one in four – each year.By 2030, 40.5 percent of the U.S. population is projected to have some form of cardiovascular disease, and the cost of cardiac care is expected to reach $818 billion by 2030 – an increase of almost 300 percent from 2010, according to American Heart Association. The Blue Distinction 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.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death 1999 – 2013 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released 2015. Data is from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999 – 2013, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative: Accessed on February 3, 2015.

About Freeman Health System
Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. For 2016, Freeman earned dozens of individual awards for medical excellence and safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers. U.S. News & World Report ranked Freeman one of the top Hospitals in Southwest Missouri more than four years in a row, and The Leapfrog Group gave Freeman the highest grade possible in the Fall 2015 Hospital Safety Score. With more than 300 physicians on staff representing more than 60 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart and vascular care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit or or follow Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Baker at