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BCBSA Announces Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA or Association has added cardiac care facilities to the specialty medical centers that can earn the Blue Distinction® designation for quality of care.  Cardiac care joins spine, knee and hip replacement facilities as those eligible to win the Blue Distinction Center (BDC) designation.

The Association has also added a designation for those specialty facilities that provide both high-quality and cost-effective care. Those centers that meet these standards will be recognized as Blue Distinction® Centers+ (BDC+).

While some Blues Plans may choose to award either a BDC or a BDC+ designation for spine surgery, knee and hip replacement and cardiac care, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) has elected to only recognize BDC+ facilities in North Carolina to support our commitment to reduce cost.  In North Carolina, nine hospitals are currently recognized with a Blue Distinction Center+ designation for delivering quality AND cost-effective cardiac care.  Hospitals that met the quality measures with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and are  interested in receiving the BDC+ designation are encouraged to submit their request for reconsideration, if their costs for the services in question meet the cost criteria.

To receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Cardiac Care designation, a hospital must demonstrate success in meeting both general quality and safety criteria and cardiac-specific quality measures. These include preventing hospital-acquired infections and having lower rates of complications and death following cardiac surgery and nonsurgical procedures, such as cardiac stent placement. Additionally, the hospitals must show better cost efficiency relative to their peers.  Quality is key: Only those facilities that first meet Blue Distinction’s nationally established, objective quality measures will be considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+.

With the new Blue Distinction Center Finder, members can find the hospitals that meet these standards and provide high-quality specialty care where and when they need it the most. 

If you have questions, please contact the Provider Blue LineSM at 1.800.214.4844.