Skip to main content

Top Centers for Specialty Care

Blue Distinction® is a designation awarded by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield to high-performing medical facilities in these areas:

  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Cardiac Care
  • Knee and Hip Replacement 
  • Maternity Care 
  • Spine Surgery
  • Transplants

Facilities designated Blue Distinction Centers + for Specialty Care® and Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® have met stringent selection criteria. 

Blue Distinction Centers + for Specialty Care
® include facilities that are recognized for delivering expert specialty care in quality and cost efficiency. 

Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® include facilities that are recognized for delivering expert specialty care in quality and efficiency. 

Blue Distinction Centers® in Iowa and South Dakota are listed below. You can find Blue Distinction Centers outside of Iowa and South Dakota on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association website External Site.

Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery® provide a full range of bariatric surgical care services provided at hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. Selection criteria included*:

  • Quality of post surgical follow-up care
  • Ability of clients to maintain their weight loss
  • Morbidity/mortality rates
  • Pre- and post-surgical education for patients and plans for follow-up care
  • Appropriate equipment for managing care for morbidly obese members
  • Ongoing quality management and improvement programs
  • Physician and staff experience and credentials
Iowa Facilities Location Blue Distinction Center Blue Distinction Center +
Genesis Medical Center Davenport No
Iowa Methodist Medical Center Des Moines No
Iowa Specialty Hospital Belmond No
Mercy Medical Center North Iowa Mason City No
Mercy Medical Center West Lakes West Des Moines No
Sartori Memorial Hospital Cedar Falls No
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Iowa City No

South Dakota Facilities Location Blue Distinction Center Blue Distinction Center +
Sanford Medical Center Sioux Falls No
Avera McKennan Hospital Sioux Falls No

*Please Note: Although the Blue Distinction Centers have met specific criteria and standards, this does not imply any guarantee of a positive outcome or endorsement by Wellmark. In addition, coverage for bariatric surgery services is subject to all of the terms of the member's benefits certificate or policy.

Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care® provide a full range of cardiac care services, including:

  • Inpatient cardiac care
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Cardiac catheterization (including percutaneous coronary interventions)
  • Cardiac surgery (including coronary artery bypass graft surgery)1
 
Iowa Facilities Location Blue Distinction Center Blue Distinction Center +
Allen Memorial Hospital Waterloo No
Iowa Methodist Medical Center Des Moines No
Mercy Hospital Mason City No
Mercy Medical Center Des Moines No
Mercy Medical Center Dubuque No
Mercy Medical Center North Iowa Mason City No
St. Luke's Methodist Hospital Cedar Rapids No
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Iowa City No

South Dakota Facilities Location Blue Distinction Center Blue Distinction Center +
Sanford Medical Center Sioux Falls No

Blue Distinction Centers for Knee and Hip ReplacementSM have demonstrated experience in comprehensive inpatient knee and hip replacement services, including total knee replacement and total hip replacement.

Iowa Facilities Location Blue Distinction Center Blue Distinction Center +
Alegent Health Mercy Hospital Council Bluffs No
Allen Memorial Hospital Waterloo No
Covenant Medical Center Waterloo No
Genesis Health System Davenport No
Iowa Lutheran Hospital Des Moines No
Jennie Edmundson Memorial Hospital Council Bluffs No
Mercy Hospital Iowa City No
Mercy Medical Center Cedar Rapids No
Mercy Medical Center Des Moines No
Mercy Medical Center Dubuque No
Mercy Medical Center North Iowa Mason City No
Mercy Medical Center West Lakes West Des Moines No
Methodist West Hospital West Des Moines No
Sartori Memorial Hospital Cedar Falls No
St. Luke's Regional Medical Center Sioux City No
St. Luke's Methodist Hospital Cedar Rapids No
The Finley Hospital Dubuque No
Trinity Hospital Bettendorf No
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Iowa City No

South Dakota Facilities Location Blue Distinction Center Blue Distinction Center +
Avera McKennan Sioux Falls No
Sanford USD Medical Center Sioux Falls No

Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care are hospitals recognized for delivering quality specialty care safely and effectively, based on objective measures developed with input from the medical community.

Iowa Facilities Location Blue Distinction Center Blue Distinction Center +
Alegent Health Mercy Hospital Council Bluffs No
Covenant Medical Center Waterloo No
Finley Hospital Dubuque No
Fort Madison Community Hospital Fort Madison No
Genesis Health System Davenport No
Great River Medical Center West Burlington No
Iowa Methodist Medical Center Des Moines No
Jennie Edmundson Memorial Hospital Council Bluffs No
Mahaska Health Partnership Oskaloosa No
Mary Greeley Medical Center Ames No
Mercy Hospital Iowa City No
Mercy Medical Center Cedar Rapids No
Mercy Medical Center Clinton No
Mercy Medical Center Des Moines No
Mercy Medical Center Dubuque No
Mercy Medical Center North Iowa Mason City No
Methodist West Hospital West Des Moines No
Pella Regional Health Center Pella No
Trinity Hospital Bettendorf No
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Iowa City No

South Dakota Facilities Location Blue Distinction Center Blue Distinction Center +
Avera McKennan Hospital Sioux Falls No
Avera Queen of Peace Hospital Mitchell No
Avera Sacred Heart Hospital Yankton No
Rapid City Regional Hospital Rapid City No
Sanford Medical Center Sioux Falls No
St. Mary's Healthcare Center Pierre No

Facilities that have received the Blue Distinction Centers for Spine SurgerySM designation have demonstrated experience in comprehensive inpatient spine surgery services, including discectomy, fusion and decompression procedures.

Iowa Facilities Location Blue Distinction Center Blue Distinction Center +
Allen Memorial Hospital Waterloo No
Genesis Health System Davenport No
Iowa Methodist Medical Center Des Moines No
Mercy Hospital Iowa City No
Mercy Medical Center Cedar Rapids No
Mercy Medical Center Des Moines No
Methodist West Hospital West Des Moines No
St. Luke's Methodist Hospital Cedar Rapids No
Trinity Hospital Bettendorf No
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Iowa City No

South Dakota Facilities Location Blue Distinction Center Blue Distinction Center +
Avera McKennan Sioux Falls No
Sanford USD Medical Center Sioux Falls No

The Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants® program looks at eight types of transplants:

  • Heart
  • Lung (deceased and living donor; single or bilateral)
  • Combination heart bilateral lung
  • Liver (deceased and living donor)
  • Simultaneous pancreas kidney (SPK)
  • Pancreas (PAK/PTA)
  • Combination liver kidney
  • Bone marrow/stem cell (autologous & allogeneic)

Iowa Facility Location Blue Distinction Center Blue Distinction Center +
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Iowa City
  • Adult Heart
  • Adult Liver (deceased donor)
  • Adult Combination Liver-Kidney
  • Adult Lung (single & bilateral)
  • Adult Pancreas
  • Adult Simultaneous Pancreas-Kidney
  • Adult Autologous Bone Marrow/Stem Cell
  • Adult Allogeneic Bone Marrow/Stem Cell
Blank Cell