What does this study add? HRSA-funded researchers analyzed associations between health center characteristics and receipt of Quality Improvement Awards (QIA) from 2014-2018. Researchers found that almost all participating health centers (99.7%) received at least one QIA during the study period, and health centers with Electronic Health Record (EHR) reporting and Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition earned higher award funding even after excluding bonus payments for these two capacities.
What are the implications for the Health Center Program? Although the QIA program has since evolved into other value-based funding mechanisms, the findings suggest that investments in EHR and PCMH accreditation may have supported broader clinical quality improvement and that health centers are able to implement value-based payment initiatives to improve patient experiences and health outcomes. The findings also suggest that HRSA award programs should set clinical quality benchmarks ahead of time.