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Blue @ Work

Get better outcomes at Blue Distinction Centers®

A proven history of delivering exceptional care

*This article was last updated on January 23, 2020.

When your employees need to get specialized care, like surgery or a transplant, they have a big decision to make. Where they choose to go can have an impact on their outcomes and overall costs. You can help them find the best place to get higher quality and more affordable care by guiding them to a Blue Distinction® Center Opens in a new window.

Blue Distinction Centers are facilities that provide a high level of expertise, and purposeful innovation in specialized care to help your employees get well and avoid unnecessary costs. These facilities are recognized by the Blue Cross® Blue Shield® Association’s Blue Distinction® Specialty Care program, and have experience providing safe and effective treatment in the following ten areas: bariatric (weight-loss) surgery, cancer care, cardiac care, cellular immunotherapy, fertility care, gene therapy, knee and hip replacement, maternity care, spine surgery, and transplants.

Blue Distinction Centers are recognized for their proven history of delivering exceptional care and results, with fewer complications, lower readmissions and higher survival rates — getting your employees back to their normal daily life sooner.

Within the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program, there are two designations: facilities with the Blue Distinction Center designation are recognized for their expertise in delivering specialty care, and those with the Blue Distinction Center+ designation are recognized for delivering cost-efficient, expert specialty care.

Why choose a Blue Distinction Center?

Costs for specialty care can add up quickly, especially if there are complications or hospital re-admissions. Procedures and other care in those seven key areas account for more than 12.7 million inpatient discharges and $272 billion in hospital charges annually.1

However, Blue Distinction Centers continually show better outcomes, including fewer complications and readmission rates, and Blue Distinction Center+ facilities are more cost-efficient, saving nearly an average of 20 percent per episode of care.2

How can I get my employees to choose a Blue Distinction Center?

When you encourage your employees to seek specialized care from a Blue Distinction Center, everyone wins. You can incentivize the use of Blue Distinction Centers by offering benefit differentials, like lower copays or deductibles. If your employees know that their out-of-pocket costs will be lower at a Blue Distinction Center, they’re far more likely to seek care there.

Whether or not you use a benefit differential to encourage your employees to use a Blue Distinction Center, these facilities are a great option for anyone who needs specialized care. Encourage your employees to visit Opens in a new window to learn more about Blue Distinction Centers and find the facilities closest to them. You can also find educational materials to share with your employees by searching for "Blue Distinction" on the Marketing Toolkit.

Have questions or want to learn more about Blue Distinction Specialty Care? Talk to your Wellmark representative or email us at Send Email.