Shawnee Mission Health Recognized By Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City For Expertise In Delivering Specialty Care

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City has selected Shawnee Mission Health (SMH) as a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care and a Blue Distinction+ Center for Bariatric Surgery, Knee and Hip Replacement, Maternity Care and Spine Surgery as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated health care facilities shown to deliver improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies with input from the medical community.

"We are honored to have our efforts in delivering safe and effective care recognized by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City," said Lori Clayman, administrative director of risk and safety. "Our nurses, physicians and supporting associates work diligently to go above and beyond quality requirements and to provide exceptional care."

To earn these distinctions, SMH met the following criteria:

  • Performed safe and effective bariatric surgeries, including gastric stapling and gastric banding, and provided a full range of bariatric surgery care, including inpatient care, post-operative care, outpatient follow-up, and patient education.
  • Delivered safe and effective cardiac care, focusing on cardiac valve surgery, coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) and percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) episodes of care.
  • Demonstrated expertise in total knee and total hip replacement surgeries, resulting in fewer patient complications and hospital readmissions.
  • Implemented the EMPower Initiative, began working toward the Baby-Friendly Hospital Designation and demonstrated low levels of early elective deliveries.
  • Delivered expert care in cervical and lumbar fusion, cervical laminectomy and lumbar laminectomy/discectomy procedures, resulting in fewer patient complications and hospital readmissions compared to other hospitals.
  • Maintained national accreditations, delivered quality specialty care safely and effectively and earned high patient satisfaction scores.

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, maternity care, spine surgery, and transplants, while encouraging health care professionals to improve the care they deliver. Research shows that facilities designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients compared with their peers.

For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit

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