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Advancing Health Center Excellence

HRSA supports special projects to inform the strategic development of the Health Center Program.

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Advancing Health Center Excellence Framework

The Advancing Health Center Excellence Framework is a conceptual structure that serves as a support for health center innovation and performance improvement in seven key health center performance domains: Access and Affordability; Patient Experience; Quality, Patient Care, and Safety; Population Health and Social Determinants of Health; Financial Sustainability; Workforce; and Governance and Management.

There are four performance levels within each domain. The foundation of performance is compliance with the Health Center Program requirements. The continuum of performance builds on program requirements, with leadership as the highest performance level.

The Framework can help health centers to:

  • Assess their current state of performance across the seven domains.
  • Identify a desired future state of performance.
  • Identify, prioritize, and inform strategies to address needs to narrow the gap between current performance and a desired future state of performance.
  • Identify data-driven and evidence-based capabilities, activities, behaviors, and resources needed to reach and sustain a higher level of domain performance.

HRSA is developing a self-assessment guide and toolkit to support health centers in using the Framework to identify and prioritize performance improvement activities, strategic planning, and more. HRSA will engage health centers and training and technical assistance partners to inform the development of the self-assessment guide and supporting toolkit. HRSA will host a webinar to introduce the toolkit and updates to the Framework and post all materials on this page once completed.

Advancing Health Center Excellence Framework fact sheet

This fact sheet (PDF - 1 MB) reflects the Advancing Health Center Excellence Framework released in 2020. The Framework is undergoing further refinement and development, and an updated version with additional resources is planned for later in 2023.

To ask questions or make suggestions, please use the BPHC Contact Form. Under Health Center Program, select Health Center Program (e.g., Unmet Need Score, Advancing Health Center Excellence Framework) or call 877-464-4772 Monday – Friday (except federal holidays).

Service Area Needs Assessment Methodology and Unmet Need Score

Learn more about HRSA’s approach and use of data to target resources to high need areas.

Service Area Status

Explore data to understand the health, social, and economic status of communities served by a health center.

Service utilization benchmarks

Find out more about the additional need for mental health, substance use disorder, oral health, vision, and interpretation/translation services through benchmarks that estimate the percentage of Health Center Program patients that would reasonably be expected to receive service in a year.

National quality recognition

The HRSA Accreditation and Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition Initiative supports recognition for health centers that meet national quality standards.

Community Health Quality Recognition

The Community Health Quality Recognition (CHQR) badges recognize Health Center Program awardees and look-alikes (LALs) that have made notable quality improvement achievements in the areas of access, quality, health equity, and health information technology for the most recent UDS reporting period.

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