Blue Distinction Centers

Policy Number: GP-IA-001

Last Updated: Oct. 16, 2023 

Blue Distinction Specialty Care is a national designation program recognizing health care providers that demonstrate expertise in delivering quality and affordable health care to meet members’ specialty care needs – safely, effectively and cost-efficiently. There are Nebraska facilities with Blue Distinction Center (BDC) designations in bariatric surgery, cardiac care, knee and hip replacement, maternity care, spine surgery, substance use treatment and recovery and transplants.

The Value of a Designation  

Differentiation in Your Community and Beyond Designation
Being a BDC differentiates you from peers in your community as well as nationally. This designation affirms that your program demonstrates expertise in delivering higher quality, and if your program earns the Blue Distinction Plus designation, more affordable health care for specialty care needs. Tools and resources to promote BDC designations are available through your local Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) plan.

Enhanced Awareness and Preference  
Members and physicians can locate BDC-designated providers through easy-to-use online tools on, including the National Doctor and Hospital Finder and Blue Distinction Center Finder. Designated providers are also identified in local BCBS plan provider directories. Selection criteria for each program are also available on  

Recognition among Employers  
Employers adopt many tactics to help improve the quality of health care for their employees while also managing costs. Some of these tactics may include offering richer benefits to employees who use designated Blue Distinction providers and adopting narrow networks that feature these higher-quality, lower-cost providers. 

Benchmark Performance Against Peers  
The evaluation process for Blue Distinction Specialty Care is a win-win proposition for providers. Every provider evaluated receives a customized report providing useful and critical insights into their performance. This report can provide a foundation for internal discussions with executive management or medical staff to assess and improve quality and cost performance through comparisons to national benchmarks.

If you’re interested in learning more about Blue Distinction Specialty Care, contact your provider executive.