By Amy E. Hamaker

Keck Hospital of USC was recently awarded the Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care program designation by insurers Blue Shield and Blue Cross for the quality of its cardiac care program.

The Blue Distinction Center designation was designed to provide transparent data on the quality of medical providers to patients whose employers are national and who are insured by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care must provide a full range of services, including inpatient cardiac care, cardiac rehabilitation, cardiac catheterization and cardiac surgery (including coronary artery bypass graft surgery).

Selection criteria are based on the medical team’s expertise, the number of times the hospital has performed various procedures and its track record for results.

According to Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications following certain cardiac procedures and lower rates of health-care associated infections.