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Finding the Right Hospital

Choosing the right hospital or treatment facility is an important decision that requires research. If you have specialty care needs, such as bariatric surgery, transplants or spine surgery, Blue Distinction® can help you find the right hospital or other health care facility. Follow these steps to find the hospital that best meets your needs:

1. Make a List

First, write down some possibilities. Start off by finding out which hospitals are covered by your health plan.

Meet with your doctor. Find out which hospitals your primary care doctor practices in, and which hospitals he or she suggests. Often, doctors are affiliated with several hospitals. Ask about the advantages of each one.

Talk with family and friends. If they were satisfied with their own treatment, that gives you a better idea of the type of care you can expect to receive.

2. Narrow Your List

After forming an initial list, do more research to narrow it down.

Go online. Search for articles about hospitals you are considering.

To search for Blue Distinction Centers®, follow these steps:

  • Visit Provider Finder.
  • Select the option to search by provider type.
  • Select your state of residence and state to be searched.
  • Select your health plan.
  • From the "Select Provider Type" dropdown, select the Blue Distinction Center that best fits your needs.

When you search for a hospital or other health care facility, you will see a logo next to those that are accredited by The Joint Commission . State and consumer organizations also track quality of care at hospitals.

The Joint Commission offers reports rating hospitals by several levels of accreditation. It is a good idea to look into accreditation and complaints.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois also provides the Blue Star Hospital Report , which measures quality and patient safety for 94 urban Illinois hospitals.

3. Visit the Hospital

Decide if the location is convenient for you and for loved ones who may want to visit. Ask about visiting hours. See if the hospital looks clean and comfortable.

Ask about the hospital's training and success in treating your health problem. How many similar cases are seen there each year, and what are the results? You may want to pick a hospital that has performed your treatment many times.

Find out if the hospital has general or specialized care. Is your treatment one of the specialties? Does it offer the types of testing your treatment will need? Blue Distinction can help you find the right hospital or other health care facility.

Other questions you may want to think about:

  • Is it a teaching hospital?
  • Is it a for-profit facility?
  • Is it government-supported?

Talk about the pros and cons of each scenario with your doctor.

Find a Hospital