Recognizing Distinguished Care

Blue Distinction Center

Our relationships with providers are central to our mission of providing Californians access to high-quality healthcare at an affordable price. That’s why we’re proud that a number of facilities within Blue Shield’s network of hospitals are recognized nationally as Blue Distinction® Centers.

Blue Distinction is a national designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies to hospitals and medical facilities that meet objective, evidence-based thresholds for clinical quality, developed in collaboration with expert physicians and medical organizations.

These facilities have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality and cost-effective services in the following areas of specialty care:

  • cardiac care

  • bariatric surgery

  • knee and hip replacement

  • spine surgery

  • complex and rare cancers

Blue Distinction Centers provide a broad range of services, including inpatient care, post-operative care, outpatient follow-up care and patient education.

As a participating health plan, Blue Shield of California can grant the Blue Distinction designation to those facilities within our network that meet the rigorous standards required within the program’s criteria.*

Studies indicate Blue Distinction Centers, such as bariatric surgery and cardiac care facilities, have better, more consistent overall outcomes (e.g., fewer complications or re-admissions) as well as lower costs for certain procedures when compared to non-designated medical facilities. **

By providing this valuable information for our members, we can continue to help them make informed health care decisions. Blue Distinction Centers are noted on our Find a Provider web site when a member views a profile of a hospital.

* Participation in the Blue Distinction program is voluntary for hospitals. Facilities not publicly referenced either did not meet the criteria or chose not to participate in the program. Blue Shield continues to work with interested hospitals to improve reporting data and measurement tools for future inclusion in this program.

** Source: Healthcore, Inc. Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery Effectiveness Study, 2009. Bariatric surgery data based on 2007 administrative claims data. Cardiac Multi-Plan Claims Analysis, November 2008; claims data based on 2006 claims from 12 Blue Plans representing approximately 56 million covered lives.