Stormont-Vail Earns Recognition For Cardiac Care

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A Topeka hospital earned honors as being among the tops in cardiac care.

Officials from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas recognized Stormont-Vail health care with a "Blue Distinction Center" designation for cardiac care.

BCBS officials say the company doesn't hand out the designation often. Vice President for Medicine, Dr. Michael Atwood, says insurance companies are putting a greater focus on ensuring patients get the care that's needed. He says facilities, like Stormont, assist in that by establishing procedures to make sure it happens.

Stormont becomes the first center in Kansas - and 348th in the nation - to earn the designation by meeting objectives for providing quality cardiac care. Those include preventing infections and lowering rates of complications and death.

Dr. Thomas Doyle, a cardiologist at the Cotton-O'Neil Heart Center, says Stormont has earned recognition from various groups before for specific areas within cardiac care. He says they also participate in several national registries, sharing information and best practices on various areas of cardiac care. To earn honors for the overall picture, he says, is a plus.

Doyle says patients are so complex that very few have just one problem when they come in for treatment. He says the BCBS designation should offer reassurance that a person is going to a place that can take care of all their cardiac needs.

Qualifying for the designation is an extensive process, but one BCBS and Stormont say is a plus for all involved.

Atwood says BCBS likes to see its members get the best care. When complications and major hospital stays arise, it costs money, which he says could drive up costs and premiums, but the main thing is positive health outcomes.

Stormont and Saint Francis previously earned recognition from Blue Cross for spine surgery and knee and hip replacement.


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