Changes to the Blue Distinction® Total Care program

February 13, 2020

Launched in 2015, Blue Distinction® Total Care (BDTC) identifies physicians, group practices, and hospitals participating in local value-based programs designed to improve health outcomes and lower cost trends through better coordination of care with providers receiving value-based payments associated with both quality and cost outcomes rather than traditional fee-for-service payments. At the end of 2019, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), an association of independent Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® plans, removed the Blue Distinction® branding from the BDTC program, renaming it the Total Care (TC) program.

This change was made to minimize market confusion from including both Specialty Care and Total Care programs under the Blue Distinction® designation and to maintain the brand equity of Blue Distinction® as it relates to Blue Distinction® Specialty Care, our centers of excellence program. 

Impact to the value-based programs

Independence’s primary care value-based incentive programs, the Quality Incentive Payment System (QIPS) program, the Preventive and Quality Improvement Program (PQIP), and the Primary Care Advancement Model (PCAM) have been designated as BDTC programs by the BCBSA. Going forward, as with BDTC, QIPS will be identified as TC programs and providers who participate in these programs will be identified as TC providers.

Note: As previously communicated, beginning with measurement year 2020, Independence has consolidated all primary care value-based incentive programs under one: QIPS program.

2020 TC+ provider update

Independence has completed its evaluation of its TC providers (providers participating in QIPS/PQIP/PCAM) for the Total Care+ (TC+) designation for 2020. TC+ recognizes those TC providers who demonstrate higher quality care at a lower cost than the other TC program participants. Independence’s TC+ providers were identified using an established methodology that considered BCBSA’s national selection criteria and a provider’s PPO performance in the QIPS program, PQIP, or PCAM during measurement year 2018 (top 50 percent in the Quality Performance Measurement score program and top 50 percent in cost efficiency measures). 

Providers who met the qualifications to be designated as TC+ will be sent a recognition letter in the first quarter of 2020. This recognition will last for one year and all TC providers will be evaluated annually using the methodology stated above for the TC+ designation.

We are currently working to update the Independence website to reflect the new naming convention from BDTC to TC. In addition, the Independence and BCBSA provider finder tools are being updated to replace the BDTC and BDTC+ logos with new TC and TC+ logos. An update will be communicated via Partners in Health UpdateSM once all the changes have been completed.

Learn more

For more information about Total Care, as well as the name change, please visit the Total Care page.

Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.