African American female doctor treating child in hospital

How to Find High-Quality Specialty Care

Preparing for a medical procedure or hospital stay can be a stressful experience. Choosing the right doctor and facility can help put your mind at ease.

There are many factors to consider when researching hospital quality. Even though a hospital might have high overall ratings, it’s important to check a facility’s rating specific to your situation. If you’re having knee or hip replacement surgery, you’d want the hospital you choose to be ranked highly in that specialty.

To make it easier for you to investigate quality care, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association partnered with medical experts and organizations to create the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

Blue Distinction Centers are institutions recognized for providing high-quality care in specific areas. For example, a patient seeking a bariatric surgeon could use the program to find a doctor or facility that excels in that exact field.

Blue Cross Blue Shield offers a list of providers that meet elite criteria in the following categories:
• Bariatric, or weight-loss surgery
• Cancer care
• Cardiac care
• Knee and hip replacement
• Maternity care
• Spine surgery
• Transplants

The Blue Distinction Specialty Care program helps meet a growing demand. In 2010, 63 percent of U.S. hospital stays were for medical procedures. Maternal and cardiovascular-related care were among the most common. There was also a significant increase in rates of hospitalization for spinal fusion and knee replacement. From 1997 to 2010, the number of operations doubled.

Blue Cross is committed to making specialty care more accessible. With the Blue Distinction label, you can find a provider that fits any budget. Facilities that are both high-quality and affordable, are designated as Blue Distinction Centers+. They’re cost-efficient alternatives that provide excellent service without breaking the bank.

Members can locate an approved doctor or hospital by logging into their account at bcbsm.com or on our mobile app. Select Find a Doctor or Hospital, Compare Cost and Quality. Then, search the hospital name you’re considering to determine if they carry the Blue Distinction badge.

Check out Blue Cross’ complimentary eBook, The Pursuit of Greater Value, to learn about the national shift to value-based care and the solutions that employers can consider to advance performance in their benefits.

Want to know more about high-quality specialty care? Visit these blogs:

Photo credit: COD Newsroom

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