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Five NorthShore – Edward-Elmhurst Health Hospitals Earn Blue Distinction for Cardiac Care

February 9, 2023

Five NorthShore – Edward-Elmhurst Health hospitals have received recognition from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Edward (Naperville), Elmhurst, Evanston and Northwest Community (Arlington Heights) Hospitals were honored with the Blue Distinction® Center+ for Cardiac Care designation; and Highland Park Hospital was recognized as a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated providers that have proven to deliver quality care with safe practices that lead to better health outcomes for patients.

“We are pleased to be recognized for our ongoing attention in achieving high-quality clinical outcomes and exceptional patient experiences across our system,” said Lakshmi Halasyamani, M.D., System Chief Clinical Officer, NorthShore – Edward-Elmhurst Health. “This distinction further underscores our relentless commitment to bring patients the most advanced cardiovascular care through community-connected, seamless care close to home.”

In the United States, one person dies every 34 seconds from a cardiovascular disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Blue Distinction Centers+ for Cardiac Care empower patients with the information they need to choose more affordable, quality cardiac care that is in-network. To receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Cardiac Care designation, health care facilities must meet quality and safety standards first, and then demonstrate better cost-efficiency compared to other facilities. They must deliver safe and effective cardiac care for: 

  • Percutaneous coronary interventions
  • Coronary artery bypass graft
  • Aortic valve replacement
  • Mitral valve replacement and repair – for those earning Blue Distinction Centers+

“The hospitals that receive this important designation from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois demonstrate a strong commitment to quality and performance,” said Dr. Derek Robinson, Chief Medical Officer, BCBSIL. “This recognition shows that our members, employers, providers and communities can count on Blue Distinction Centers for access to health care that helps our members achieve their health goals.”

Health care facilities recognized as Blue Distinction Centers+ are assessed using quality information supplied by facilities and third-party data registries, and cost measures derived from Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies’ medical claims. Quality measures were developed with input from the medical community and leading accreditation and quality organizations. Only those health care facilities that first meet the quality measures for Blue Distinction Centers are considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+.

Nationally, Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care are providing quality care for patients and have lower in-hospital mortality rates and lower bleeding complication rates for angioplasty than non-Blue Distinction Centers. Designated facilities also meet additional national standards, with patients facing fewer readmissions and mortality rates for coronary artery bypass graft procedures and heart attacks, compared to facilities that do not meet the criteria. Additionally, on average, Blue Distinction Centers+ for Cardiac Care are 21% more cost-efficient than their non-Blue Distinction Centers+ peers. For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated providers, visit