Centers of Excellence deliver quality care, lower costs

July 19, 2019

With medical coverage through the Board, you can use Centers of Excellence to get quality medical outcomes for certain procedures at lower out-of-pocket costs.

If you have a serious surgery coming up, consider how Centers of Excellence specialty benefits might improve your outcome and lower your cost. These benefits are available to employees and their family members enrolled in the active Medical Plan (PPO, EPO, or HDHP).*

Centers of Excellence are hospitals, providers, or groups that meet high quality and cost standards for certain services. You can use Centers of Excellence to get quality medical outcomes for certain procedures at lower out-of-pocket costs for you.

When you have certain procedures in the following four areas performed at a Center of Excellence, the plan will pay 100 percent of allowable charges after you meet the annual plan deductible:

  • bariatric surgery
  • transplants
  • knee and hip replacements
  • spinal surgery

An added plus is that if you have to travel more than 100 miles to a Center of Excellence, you are eligible for a travel benefit of up to $10,000 to cover expenses for yourself and a companion.

Find a Center of Excellence

Here’s how to find out if your hospital is a Center of Excellence:

  • If you use the national Blue Cross Blue Shield Network – Use the Provider Search tool on the Highmark website to find your hospital. If the Blue Distinction Center and Blue Distinction Center+ logo appears, your hospital is a Center of Excellence. To find other Centers of Excellence near you, call the number on the back of your medical ID card.
  • If you use the Aetna network – Aetna Institutes of Quality (bariatric surgery, knee and hip replacements, and spinal surgery) and Aetna Institutes of Excellence (transplants) are Centers of Excellence. To find facilities with this designation, call the number on the back of your medical ID card, or visit the Aetna website to use the provider search tool.

Learn more about using Centers of Excellence specialty benefits, or call the Board of Pensions at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) for more information.

* These benefits are not available to members enrolled in Triple-S, GeoBlue, or the Medicare Supplement Plan.