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Blue Distinction

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A simpler, smarter way to find quality specialty care.

Not all hospitals are the same. One facility may excel in certain specialties and not in others, so a hospital that has a solid overall reputation isn't necessarily the right choice for a specific procedure.

So, consider a facility designated as a Blue Distinction Center®. The Blue Distinction designation is awarded to hospitals based on a thorough, objective evaluation of their performance in the areas that matter most to you—quality care, treatment expertise and overall patient outcomes, just to name a few. The criteria we measure are established with the help of expert physicians and medical organizations.

The association recently added a new designation, Blue Distinction+®. Blue Distinction Centers+® not only meet the same quality criteria as Blue Distinction Centers®, but they also go a step further. They are also measured on how efficiently they deliver this high-quality patient care.

Research shows that Blue Distinction Centers+ demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications and readmissions . They are also over 20% more cost-efficient.

The following facilities in our 13-county area have been designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ for Specialty Care® :

Cardiac Care

Geisinger Community Medical Center 
Pocono Medical Center

Knee & Hip Replacement

Regional Hospital of Scranton, Scranton
Williamsport Regional Hospital, Williamsport

Spine Surgery

Geisinger Community Medical Center, Scranton
Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre
Williamsport Regional Hospital, Williamsport

The following facilities in our 13-county area have been designated as Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care:

Cardiac Care

Geisinger Wyoming Valley

Knee & Hip Replacement

Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre
Robert Packer Hospital, Sayre

The program currently recognizes facilities nationwide as Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® in the areas of:

  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Complex and Rare Cancers
  • Knee and Hip Replacement
  • Spine Surgery
  • Transplants

Transplants: All of our plans cover transplants at Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants® at the highest level of coverage, including the following plans:

BlueCare® HMO Blue Care EPO
BlueCare HMO Plus Blue Care QHDEPO
BlueCare HMO Direct AffordaBlueSM
BlueCare HMO Individual Conversion BlueCare Assure
CHIP BlueCare Direct Simplicity

When the initial services related to a transplant or possible transplant begin, remind your doctors to call our Utilization Management Department. This will ensure that you receive high quality care at the best location for your needs.

Refer to your contract/policy for more information. Learn more about Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants or to find the closest facility for the specific transplant type. You have access to nearly 100 Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants across the country for the following transplant types:

  • Heart
  • Lung (deceased and living donor)
  • Combination heart bilateral lung
  • Liver (deceased and living donor)
  • Simultaneous pancreas kidney (SPK)
  • Pancreas (PAK/PTA)
  • Kidney (only in conjunction with SPK/PAK)
  • Bone marrow/stem cell (autologous and allogeneic)

Additional Resources:

Blue Distinction Overview

Note: Designation as Blue Distinction Centers means these facilities' overall experience and aggregate data met objective criteria established in collaboration with expert clinicians' and leading professional organizations' recommendations. Individual outcomes may vary. To find out which services are covered under your policy at any facilities, please call your local Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield Plan; and call your provider before making an appointment, to verify the most current information on its Network participation and Blue Distinction status. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any of its Licensees are responsible for any damages, losses, or non-covered charges that may result from using this website or receiving care from a provider listed in this website.