For people struggling with substance use disorders, finding compassionate care can be a lifeline. At Blue Shield of California, we are dedicated to helping those with substance use disorders get the quality treatment they need.

What are Blue Distinction Centers?

Blue Distinction® Centers are recognized for distinguished clinical care and processes by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We're proud that several facilities within Blue Shield's network of hospitals are designated as Blue Distinction Centers for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery.

Facilities earn this designation based on rigorous, evidence-based, objective criteria and input from expert physicians and medical organizations. The goal of this recognition is to help all Blues health plan members – and others – find quality specialty care on a consistent basis, while enabling and encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the overall quality and delivery of care nationwide. 

Studies indicate Blue Distinction Centers have better overall outcomes and lower costs for certain procedures when compared to non-designated medical facilities. By providing this information for our members, we can continue to help them make informed health care decisions.

Participation in the Blue Distinction Centers for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery program is voluntary for hospitals, residential treatment centers (RTC), and outpatient clinics. Facilities not referenced either did not meet the criteria or chose not to participate in the program at this time. Blue Shield will continue to work with interested hospitals to improve reporting data and measurement tools for future inclusion in this program.  

Blue Distinction Criteria

The criteria for selection to the Blue Distinction Centers for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery program were developed with input from physician experts and medical organizations and include a comprehensive evaluation of structure, process, and outcome measures. The program aims to reduce the often fragmented system of substance use disorder care. Care may be offered in the following settings: residential, inpatient, intensive outpatient, or partial hospitalization services. Opioid use disorder treatment is offered and at minimum medication-assisted treatment (MAT) must be made available to these patients.

Learn more about the Blue Distinction program


Note: Designation as Blue Distinction Centers means these facilities' overall experience and aggregate data met objective criteria established in collaboration with expert clinician and leading professional organizations' recommendations. Individual outcomes may vary. Before making an appointment, find out which services are covered under your policy at any facility by calling Blue Shield Customer Service and check with your provider to verify the most current information regarding their Network participation status. Neither the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any of its Licensees are responsible for any damages, losses, or non-covered charges that may result from using this website or receiving care from a provider listed in this website.