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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

Willis-Knighton Medical Center Recognized for Higher Quality in Cardiac Care

Aug 21, 2019

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has recognized Willis-Knighton Medical Center with a Blue Distinction Centers+ for Cardiac Care designation, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Willis-Knighton is the only Shreveport-Bossier area healthcare provider with this designation. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated providers that show expertise in delivering improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community and leading accreditation and quality organizations.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA[1], cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally and is expected to claim more than 23.6 million lives annually by 2030. Blue Distinction Centers+ for Cardiac Care seek to empower patients with the knowledge and tools to find quality cardiac care. To receive a Blue Distinction Centers+ designation, hospitals must demonstrate 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. Hospitals receiving a Blue Distinction Centers+ designation must also demonstrate better cost-efficiency compared to their peers.

Only those hospitals that first meet nationally established quality measures for Blue Distinction Centers are considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Centers+.

“We’re honored to be recognized by Blue Cross Blue Shield for providing high quality cardiac care to the community,” says Chris Sale, administrator of Willis-Knighton Heart & Vascular Institute. “Our staff and physicians work together as a heart team to deliver the best patient care possible and help people live healthier lives. It should give comfort to people around the region that they don’t have to travel to Dallas, Houston, or New Orleans to receive the highest quality heart care.  We provide it right here at Willis-Knighton.”   

Hospitals recognized with this designation are assessed using a combination of quality information supplied by hospitals and third party data registries, and cost measures derived from Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies’ medical claims.

Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cancer care, cardiac care, cellular immunotherapy, fertility care, gene therapy, knee and hip replacements, maternity care, spine surgery, and transplants, while encouraging health care professionals to improve the care they deliver. Research shows that compared to other providers, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients. On average, Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent more cost-efficient than non-Blue Distinction Center+ designated providers.


[1] American Heart Association, https://www.heart.org/-/media/data-import/downloadables/heart-disease-and-stroke-statistics-2018---at-a-glance-ucm_498848.pdf

For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.

About Willis-Knighton Medical Center
Willis-Knighton Health System is a not-for-profit health system and the largest healthcare provider in northwest Louisiana. Willis-Knighton features three acute care hospitals in Shreveport and one in Bossier City as well as a rehabilitation institute with physical and behavioral rehabilitation services. The health system also includes an extended care center, a skilled nursing center, five wellness centers and a master-planned community for senior adults with independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing. Willis-Knighton’s physician network is composed of more than 500 health providers. They are part of the health system’s more than 7,400 full- and part-time employees, making Willis-Knighton the region’s largest private employer. 

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. We invest both time and money in the communities we serve, supporting the health and wellbeing of Louisianians through more than 200 charitable organizations.

With our subsidiaries, HMO Louisiana and Southern National Life, we provide group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to one out of four Louisiana residents. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana also provides Medicare supplement and Medicare Advantage plans and is a partner in offering the Healthy Blue Medicaid Managed care plan. Louisiana is the only state where we operate, with offices in every major region to serve our customers.

Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a tax-paying non-profit health insurer. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

To learn more, visit our website at www.bcbsla.com.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for one in three Americans. BCBSA provides healthcare insights through The Health of America Report series and the national BCBS Health Index. For more information on BCBSA and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We also encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out our blog.

About Blue Distinction Centers
Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for providers located in its own service area; for details, contact your Local Blue Plan. Blue Distinction Centers+ (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable healthcare. Each provider’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Providers in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in two Local Blue Plans’ areas, resulting in two evaluations for cost of care; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both cost of care evaluation(s) must meet BDC+ national criteria. National criteria for BDC and BDC+ are displayed on www.bcbs.com. Individual outcomes may vary. For details on a provider’s in-network status or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan and ask your provider before making an appointment. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for non-covered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.