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September 21, 2021

DES MOINES, IA – Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield recognizes MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center as a designated Blue Distinction® Center for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery (BDC Substance Use Treatment and Recovery) – a new designation under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated facilities that show a commitment to delivering improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the community and leading accreditation and quality organizations.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, which highlights the seriousness of the opioid epidemic and how critical it is for patients to receive comprehensive, meaningful care. The BDC Substance Use Treatment and Recovery program requires designated facilities to deliver coordinated multidisciplinary care to patients and provide timely access to quality medical and psychosocial care in all phases of treatment. Designated facilities must also offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT) – a way to treat opioid addiction that includes a medication component and behavioral therapy. Treatment and recovery facilities will be designated on a rolling basis.

Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cancer care, cardiac care, cellular immunotherapy, fertility care, gene therapy, knee and hip replacements, maternity care, spine surgery, substance use treatment and recovery, and transplants, while encouraging health care professionals to improve the care they deliver.

For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction External Link.