Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield has named Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines as one of the first hospitals in the nation to receive a "Blue Distinction Center+" designation in the area of cardiac care, as part of the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program.

According to Wellmark, research shows that Blue Distinction Centers + demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications following certain cardiac procedures and lower rates of health care-associated infections compared with their peers. Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent more cost efficient for those same procedures.