; Blue Distinction<sup>®</sup> Overview
Skip to content

Blue Distinction® Overview

The doctor or hospital you select can have a real impact on the care you receive and your overall health. But making the choice that is right for you can sometimes be a challenge. That is where Blue Cross and Blue Shield can help.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies work with more than 90 percent of all doctors and hospitals in the U.S. and serve more than 105 million members (that's one in three Americans). As a result, they have a unique perspective on doctors and hospitals that are effective in improving patient care and health. This perspective is the foundation of Blue Distinction®, Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies' national doctor and hospital recognition program.

These recognized doctors and hospitals are changing healthcare to be more patient-focused, coordinated and, in many cases, affordable.


Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area; for details, contact your Local Blue Plan. Blue Distinction Centers+ (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable healthcare. Each facility’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Facilities in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in two Local Blue Plans’ areas, resulting in two evaluations for cost of care; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both cost of care evaluation(s) must meet BDC+ national criteria. Blue Distinction Total Care (BDTC) providers met BDTC national criteria. National criteria for BDC, BDC+, and BDTC are displayed on www.bcbs.com. Individual outcomes may vary. For details on a provider’s in-network status or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan and ask your provider before making an appointment. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for non-covered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.