Blue Distinction Centers® Recognized experience in specialty care

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s (BCBSA) Blue Distinction program gives you access to quality-of-care information to help you make educated decisions about the specialty care you receive. The Blue Distinction Center designation identifies facilities that:

  • have extensive experience in one or more categories of specialty care;
  • meet rigorous quality standards;
  • consistently demonstrate positive care results.

Blue Distinction is evolving with an ongoing eye toward quality improvement, while being mindful of the increasing focus on cost containment and value-based purchasing. What began as a designation based purely on quality is now being refined to also become a designation awarded to facilities that first meet more stringent quality measures (focused increasingly on patient safety and outcomes), and then also meet new cost measures; therefore, under this program, a facility can qualify for a Blue Distinction Center + designation (meets both quality and cost criteria) or Blue Distinction Center designation (only meets quality criteria). Currently, the Blue Distinction Center + designation is only available for the Cardiac Care, Knee and Hip Replacement and Spine Surgery specialties. It is anticipated that over the next few years, it will be added to additional specialties.

What is specialty care?

Specialty care includes:

  • bariatric surgery
  • cardiac care
  • complex and rare cancers
  • knee and hip replacement
  • spine surgery
  • transplants
  • maternity care

Find a Blue Distinction Center

Facilities that have attained the Blue Distinction Center designation will be marked in the online participating provider directory.

For a complete listing of the more than 1,640 Blue Distinction Centers for specialty care nationwide (as of February 2013), including those within the Independence Blue Cross provider network, please visit the BCBSA website.

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