Blue Distinction Centers for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery Program Expands

Blues Perspectives

| 2 min read

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has taken numerous actions over the past several years to battle the national opioid crisis. We’ve also worked closely with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association on developing the Blue Distinction® Centers for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery program. The Blue Distinction® Centers for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery program has recently expanded from three designated treatment facilities in Michigan to 14. The national Blue Distinction Centers for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery program aims to improve patient outcomes and value by focusing on the treatment of substance use disorders, including opioid use disorder. Facilities with residential, inpatient, intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization services are considered for this designation.

A growing issue

“Substance misuse was a growing issue in our communities prior to COVID, as the number of overdoses grew year after year. Unfortunately, the stressors of COVID only made the situation worse. It is critically important that we all fight against the stigma and encourage our loved ones to get the help and support that they need,” said Michelle Fullerton, senior director, Group Customer Advocate. “We have heard stories of nonaccredited treatment centers that lure patients and families into a program that delivers poor results and large bills. With the Blue Distinction designation, we can reassure our members and employer groups that they are accessing a program that has met national accredited standards of care.” There are currently 367 designated providers across 42 states. To receive this designation, treatment facilities must offer:
  • Multidisciplinary, coordinated care
  • Medication-assisted treatment and other evidence-based therapies
  • Nationally accredited care that recognizes specific quality standards and value-focused care
This highly respected designation acknowledges the expertise providers have demonstrated, their commitment to improving quality and affordability, and their delivery of timely, coordinated, multidisciplinary, evidence-based care with a focus on quality improvement and patient-centered care.

For more information

  • To learn more about Blue Distinction Specialty Care and for a complete list of designated facilities in 11 areas of specialty, including substance use treatment and recovery, visit
  • For a look at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s strategy and efforts to battle the opioid epidemic, see our flyer.
  • Our Behavioral and Mental Health website is a good source of information for your patients who may be struggling with mental or behavioral health challenges.
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MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association