; Blue Cross And Blue Shield Companies Strongly Support Patient Safety Initiative
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Press Release

Blue Cross And Blue Shield Companies Strongly Support Patient Safety Initiative

April 12, 2011

WASHINGTON – Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association President and CEO Scott P. Serota issued the following statement after today’s announcement by the Obama administration regarding patient safety initiatives:

“The Blue Cross and Blue Shield System is pleased to join Secretary Sebelius today to support our shared belief that all patients deserve to receive safe, high quality healthcare. The nation’s 39 independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies look forward to collaborating with the administration as we have with doctors and hospitals in hundreds of communities across the country to improve patient safety.

“Tragically, nearly 250,000 Americans lose their lives each year due to medical errors, and many more are harmed by infections and medication-induced complications. Eliminating these avoidable deaths and injuries has been and continues to be a national priority for the Blues. We are partnering with doctors and hospitals in local communities across the country to improve patient safety through programs that eliminate hospital-acquired infections, reduce readmissions and prevent surgical errors.

“Our efforts to make sure that patients receive the care they need, when they need it, and getting it right the first time, are already producing significant results. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies’ collaborations have helped to save thousands of lives, shorten hospital stays and substantially reduce rates of hospital-acquired infections by as much as 30 percent among all patients regardless of whether or not they are Blue members.”

** View a compiled representation of patient safety initiatives that many Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies and their partners are successfully implementing to dramatically improve the quality and safety of patient care in communities nationwide.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 105 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.