Blue Distinction Centers
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Blue Distinction®?
- How are Center of Excellence (COE) and Blue Distinction Center® (BDC) different?
- Where can I go for a full listing of facilities participating in the Blue Distinction Center programs?
- Where can I find the selection criteria for each Blue Distinction program?
- If a facility meets the selection criteria for designation for one of the Blue Distinction programs, does that mean it receives designation for all Blue Distinction programs?
- What does this say about facilities that are not listed as Blue Distinction Centers?
- How often will facilities designated as a Blue Distinction Center be evaluated?
- If I choose to be treated at a facility that is not designated as a Blue Distinction Center, will these services be covered?
- Does the Blue Distinction Center designation also apply to doctors at those facilities?
- What happens if a Blue Distinction Center designee drops out of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) network?
Complex and Rare Cancers
- What are Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers?
- What selection criterion are used to evaluate potential Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare Cancers designees?
- Why focus on complex and rare cancers and not more common cancers (i.e., breast cancer)?
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina's (BCBSNC's) Centers of Excellence and the Blues' nationally branded Blue Distinction Centers® both recognize medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality specialty care. BCBSNC's original quality programs were called Centers of Excellence. The Blues also developed nationally consistent quality designation programs, known as Blue Distinction Centers. BCBSNC converted to the national Blue Distinction Centers programs, thus ending its use of the Centers of Excellence name, except for BCBSNC's Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence.
BCBSNC's Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence program has focused on outstanding surgeons who perform bariatric surgery, rather than outstanding facilities. The BCBSNC Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence program will end on December 31, 2009. In its place will be Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery, which focus on facility performance, using BDC's transparent, evidence-based selection criteria and existing program structure. While the Blue Distinction Center designation is given to the facility, the work, volumes, and outcomes of quality physician services still lie at the heart of the selection criteria for earning this quality designation.
No. These programs focus on identifying (and recognizing) what it takes for health care facilities to deliver better outcomes for specific types of specialty care.
Selection criteria are unique for each Blue Distinction program, reflecting that particular area of specialized care. Understandably, a facility with proven expertise in one specialty area may or may not meet thresholds in other areas (for example, a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery may not necessarily meet the selection criteria for becoming a Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare Cancers). A facility that has been designated a Blue Distinction Center in multiple areas of care has met our detailed criteria in each area.
Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers are designated facilities within the participating Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) network that offers comprehensive inpatient cancer care programs for adults, delivered by multidisciplinary teams with subspecialty training and distinguished clinical expertise in treating complex and rare subtypes of cancer.
Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers focus on multidisciplinary treatment planning and complex, major surgical treatments for the following malignancies:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are committed to making health care information accessible and transparent. Selection criteria used to evaluate facilities applying for designation as a Blue Distinction Center are available on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association website.
Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers were developed in collaboration with the National Comprehensive Cancer Care Network1 and with input from a national panel of expert physicians.