Published on August 02, 2013

Hospital receives new designation for delivering quality and cost-efficient cardiac procedures.

Blue DistinctionNorth Kansas City Hospital has received the Blue Distinction Center+ SM for Cardiac Care designation. The designation—sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC)—signifies that North Kansas City Hospital delivers quality specialty care based on objective, transparent measures for patient safety and health outcomes that were developed with input from the medical community. This year, the national program has added a new designation level, Blue Distinction Centers+ SM, to recognize hospitals that deliver both quality and cost-efficient specialty care.

To receive a Blue Distinction Center+ SM for Cardiac Care designation, a hospital must demonstrate success in meeting both general quality and safety criteria (such as preventing hospital-acquired infections) and cardiac-specific quality measures (related to lower rates of complications and death following cardiac surgery, and non-surgical procedures such as cardiac stent placement). Additionally, Blue Distinction Centers+ SM are 20 percent more cost-efficient for those same procedures relative to their peers.

Quality is key: only those facilities that first meet Blue Distinction’s nationally established, objective quality measures will be considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+ SM. “North Kansas City Hospital has worked hard to earn this designation,” says Michael Graves, director of cardiovascular services. “Top quality patient care and cost control are always top-of-mind and this award is welcomed validation of our team’s efforts.”

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming nearly 600,000 lives each year. Cardiac procedures, including bypass and cardiac stent placement, are among the most common major medical procedures provided by the US health care system, with more than 1 million procedures performed annually. These cardiac related procedures cost the nation more than $28 billion annually. The Blue Distinction Centers for 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 needs.

The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program identifies hospitals delivering quality care in bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery, and transplants. These specialty areas comprise approximately 30 percent of inpatient hospital expenditures.

North Kansas City Hospital has additionally been recognized by other prestigious organizations and earned accreditations including the Society of Chest Pain Centers Cycle III Accreditation with PCI, Health Grades Emergency Medicine Excellence, American College of Cardiology Foundation's NCDR Action Registry-Get With The Guidelines - platinum designation and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® Performance Achievement - bronze designation.

About North Kansas City Hospital: For over 55 years, North Kansas City Hospital has been at the forefront of providing medical care in the Northland. The Hospital is an acute-care facility with 451-licensed beds with specialties in cardiac care, cancer care, women’s health, orthopedics, emergency services and minimally invasive surgery. They provide a full continuum of care from the highest level of neonatal intensive care to award-winning cardiovascular and orthopedic programs to home health and hospice. The medical staff includes over 550 physicians representing 49 medical specialties. North Kansas City Hospital is the first hospital in Missouri and one of only a few hospitals in the country to receive the Mission: Lifeline Heart Attack Receiving Center accreditation from the American Heart Association. In addition, the Hospital is an accredited Level III Chest Pain Center by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, a major trauma center for emergency care and rated as one of the busiest adult/pediatric emergency departments in Kansas City. For more information, contact North Kansas City Hospital at 2800 Clay Edwards Dr., North Kansas City, MO 64116, on the web at, at 816-691-2000 and follow the Hospital on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

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