Long Beach Memorial Earns Blue Distinction® Specialty Care Designation for Quality in Cardiac Care

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Anthem Blue Cross has designated the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Memorial as a Blue Distinction® Center in the Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care program, 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 with input from the medical community.

To receive a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care designation, a hospital must demonstrate its expertise in delivering safe and effective cardiac care, focusing on cardiac valve surgery, coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) and percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) episodes of care. A hospital must also have earned national accreditation at the hospital level. Long Beach Memorial is proud to be recognized by Anthem Blue Cross for meeting the rigorous selection criteria for cardiac care set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

“The MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our heart disease patients resulting in exceptional outcomes,” says Gregory S. Thomas, M.D., MPH, medical director, MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute, Long Beach Memorial. “We are honored to be recognized by Anthem Blue Cross for the care we provide our patients.”

The MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute (MHVI) at Long Beach Memorial is one of California’s most comprehensive centers for the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research of cardiovascular disease. Best practice cardiac care is delivered in a state-of-the-art center specially configured to fulfill the unique requirements of cardiovascular medicine. Most recently, MHVI has expanded its services to include a comprehensive vascular surgery program, led by nationally recognized vascular surgeon – Rodney A. White, M.D. Widely considered among the most important endovascular surgery pioneers, Dr. White spearheaded testing and the first human deployment of an aortic stent graft with Dr. Thomas Fogarty in 1996. Stenting since has replaced open surgery as the most common method of aortic intervention.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., claiming more than 610,000 lives — 1 in 4 — each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.1 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 — an increase of almost 300 percent from 2010, according to the American Heart Association. The Blue Distinction Specialty Care program seeks to reduce this burden by empowering patients with the knowledge and tools to find quality cardiac care.

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 hospitals or medical centers designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients compared with their peers. 

1 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 are 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 Program: http://wonder.cdc.gov/ucd-icd10.html. Accessed on Feb 3, 2015.