When you or your family need specialty care, you want access to providers who best fit your needs. Blue Distinction® Specialty Care helps you find high-quality options with the expertise for your specific needs.
Two Distinct Recognitions
Blue Distinction Centers and Blue Distinction Centers+ have a proven history of delivering exceptional care and results. With two levels of recognition, you and your doctor can choose the option that best meets your needs. To learn more, contact your local Blue Cross Blue Shield company.
Blue Distinction Centers
Demonstrate quality care, treatment expertise and better overall patient results
Blue Distinction Centers+
Demonstrate more affordable care in addition to quality care, treatment expertise and better overall patient results
Find a Blue Distinction Center
With a click or a call, you can find a Blue Distinction Center for your specialty care needs. Visit the Blue Distinction Center Finder, or call the toll-free number on the back of your membership card
Eleven Areas of Specialty Care
Blue Distinction Specialty Care recognizes doctors, hospitals and other healthcare facilities in the following categories:
To find out if a Blue Distinction doctor, hospital or healthcare facility is in your plan's network and for information on your own policy’s coverage, please contact your local Blue Cross Blue Shield company and ask your doctor before making an appointment.
Blue Distinction Centers and Blue Distinction Centers+ for Bariatric Surgery provide a full range of bariatric surgery care; including surgical care, post-operative care, outpatient follow-up care and patient education. These Centers have lower complication rates and fewer readmissions.
Blue Distinction Centers for Cancer Care provide a full range of cancer services. These Centers have a demonstrated focus on delivering quality and value through patient-centered, coordinated care.
Blue Distinction Centers and Blue Distinction Centers+ for Cardiac Care provide a full range of inpatient cardiac care services; including coronary artery bypass graft surgery, heart valve surgery and angioplasty (percutaneous coronary intervention). These Centers demonstrate better quality care and improved patient outcomes, including lower complication rates following certain cardiac procedures.
Blue Distinction Centers for Cellular Immunotherapy focus on treatments used to help the immune system fight diseases, such as cancer. The initial launch of this program will include newly FDA-approved chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cell therapies, which are genetically modified autologous T cell immunotherapies used in the treatment of certain cancers.
The Blue Distinction Centers for Fertility Care program will focus on in vitro fertilization (IVF) which is the most common assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment and is widely becoming the preferred option for fertility treatment.
Blue Distinction Centers for Gene Therapy focus on gene therapies for inherited disorders. The initial launch of this program for ocular disorders will include newly FDA-approved gene therapy used to treat patients with a specific type of inherited blindness. The treatment introduces a genetically modified healthy version of the gene and offers a new treatment option where none has existed before.
Blue Distinction Centers and Blue Distinction Centers+ for Knee and Hip Replacement have demonstrated expertise in total knee and total hip replacement surgeries. These Centers have lower complication rates and fewer hospital readmissions.
Blue Distinction Centers and Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care demonstrate expertise and a commitment to quality care for vaginal and cesarean section deliveries. These Centers demonstrate better overall patient satisfaction and a lower percentage of early elective deliveries.
Blue Distinction Centers and Blue Distinction Centers+ for Spine Surgery provide comprehensive inpatient spine surgery services; including discectomy, fusion and decompression procedures. These Centers have lower readmission rates and fewer reoperations.
Blue Distinction Centers for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery aims to improve patient outcomes and value by focusing on providers across the full continuum of care who deliver and facilitate treatment for substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder. This program will be available on January 1, 2020.
Blue Distinction Centers and Blue Distinction Centers+ for Transplants provide a range of services for heart, lung, liver, pancreas and bone marrow/stem cell transplants. These Centers meet stringent clinical criteria, established in collaboration with expert physicians' and medical organizations' recommendations. Additionally, they demonstrate better overall patient outcomes.
*These organizations have provided information and input, but do not formally endorse the Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants program.
If you are a physician or hospital administrator and would like your healthcare facility to be considered for the Blue Distinction Centers and Blue Distinction/ Centers+ designations, contact your local Blue Cross Blue Shield company to learn more.
The following materials are for providers being evaluated for 2021 designations.
Note: Due to challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, BCBSA reserves the right to make necessary accommodations to the Programs’ Selection Criteria. Accommodations, if any, will be made on a nationally consistent basis and communicated through your local Blue Plan.
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 providers 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 provider’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Providers 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. National criteria for BDC and BDC+ 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.