Pocono Medical Center earns Blue Distinction Center+ Award for Cardiac Care
The ESSA Heart and Vascular Center at Pocono Medical Center (PMC) has been named a Blue Distinction Center+® in the area of Cardiac Care as part of the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program by Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BCNEPA).
The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program is a national designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities such as PMC that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality specialty care.
“Our mission is to provide world-class care, close to home,” said Kathleen E. Kuck, President and CEO of Pocono Health System/Pocono Medical Center. “I am proud of our entire team and recognize them for their efforts in delivering high quality care and positive patient outcomes that have once again been recognized nationally.”
To earn BCNEPA’s Blue Distinction Center+ designation, PMC was evaluated based on an objective, evidence-based selection criteria established with input from expert physicians and medical organizations.
“Our goal with the Blue Distinction Centers+ for Specialty Care® program is to identify local medical facilities that deliver higher overall quality and positive patient outcomes for a specific area of specialty care, such as cardiac care,” said Nina M. Taggart, MD, Vice President of Clinical Operations and Chief Medical Officer for BCNEPA. “This helps our members, and all local residents, make more informed healthcare decisions.”
Research confirms that the newly designated Blue Distinction Centers+ demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications and readmissions than their peers. Blue Distinction Centers+ also are more than 20 percent more cost-efficient.
Since 2006, consumers, medical providers and employers have relied on the Blue Distinction program to identify hospitals delivering quality care in Bariatric Surgery, Cardiac Care, Complex and Rare Cancers, Knee and Hip Replacements, Spine Surgery, and Transplants.
PMC Financial Counselors Have Helped
Hundreds of Residents Get Health Insurance
Pocono Health System/Pocono Medical Center’s leadership team made a decision last summer to serve as a resource to the community on the Affordable Care Act and how to navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace in order to apply for health insurance. Despite the fact that this meant more work for an already busy Financial Counselors’ team and there is no fee or reimbursement available, Pocono Health System knew it was simply the right thing to do.
The team immediately began the process to become a Certified Application Counselor site and Carmen Baez-DiElmo, the Patient Financial Counselor team lead was the first to pass the five-hour exam. From there, Carmen fielded hundreds of calls from throughout the region including some from out of state looking for assistance in obtaining health insurance. Many individuals found Pocono Medical Center right at https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/ where they can find the respective organizations’ in their area providing assistance.
Pocono Health System is the only organization in Monroe County providing this service and has also been serving many residents from Carbon, Northampton, and Pike counties. Due to the fact that Pocono Health System was receiving so many calls during the month of December, they set-up the Health Insurance Marketplace hotline at (570) 476-3788. Since that time, Carmen Baez-DiElmo and Cassandra Bertoline of the Patient Financial Counselors’ team have helped over 300 residents throughout the region obtain and get approved for health insurance through Healthcare.gov.
“I am just so proud of Carmen and Cassandra for stepping up in order to provide this important service to our community,” notes Kathleen E. Kuck, President and CEO, Pocono Health System/Pocono Medical Center. “Their willingness to go above and beyond the work that they do each and every day for our patients and their families demonstrates our commitment to being the community’s partner in life.”