When you or your family need specialty care, you want the best available. 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 

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Seven Areas of Specialty Care

Blue Distinction Specialty Care recognizes doctors (coming Jan. 2018), 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.


For Physicians and Hospitals

Bariatric (Weight-Loss) Surgery

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. 

Find a Blue Distinction Center/Center+ for Bariatric Surgery

Directory of Blue Distinction® Centers/Centers+ for Bariatric Surgery (PDF)

Program Selection Criteria for Bariatric Surgery (PDF)

Cancer CARE

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. (Launching Jan. 1, 2018)

Cardiac 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.

Find a Blue Distinction Center/Center+ for Cardiac Care

Directory of Blue Distinction Centers/Centers+ for Cardiac Care (PDF)

Program Selection Criteria for Cardiac Care (PDF)

Knee and Hip Replacement

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.

Find a Blue Distinction Center/Center+ for Knee and Hip Replacement

Directory of Blue Distinction Centers/Centers+ for Knee and Hip Replacement (PDF)

Program Selection Criteria for Knee and Hip Replacement (PDF)

Maternity Care

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.

Find a Blue Distinction Center/Center+ for Maternity Care

Directory of Blue Distinction Centers/Centers+ for Maternity Care (PDF)

Program Selection Criteria for Maternity Care (PDF)

Spine Surgery

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.

Find a Blue Distinction Center/Center+ for Spine Surgery

Directory of Blue Distinction Centers/Centers+ for Spine Surgery (PDF)

Program Selection Criteria for Spine Surgery (PDF)

Transplants

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.

Find a Blue Distinction Center/Center+ for Transplants

Directory of Blue Distinction Centers/Centers+ for Transplants (PDF)

Program Selection Criteria for Transplants (PDF)

Transplant Resources


*These organizations have provided information and input, but do not formally endorse the Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants program.

For Physicians and Hospitals

If you are a physician or hospital administrator and would like your healthcare facility to be considered for the Blue Distinction Centers/Centers+​ designations, contact your local Blue Cross Blue Shield company to learn more.

2018 Designation Materials

The following materials (PDF) are for current specialties that are being evaluated for 2018 designations.

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. 

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of 36 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies.