Quality Improvement Awards

HRSA provides Quality Improvement Awards (QIA) to promote optimization of overall quality, efficiency, and value of the health care services provided by the nation’s health centers, and to celebrate their recent achievements in providing high quality care to nearly 30 million patients. These awards recognize the highest performing health centers nationwide as well as those health centers that have made significant quality improvement gains from the previous year.

The QIA support HRSA’s strategic goals to improve access to quality health services, achieve health equity, and enhance population health. The QIA also support the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s (HHS’) goal of promoting a value-based payment system by improving the quality, breadth of services, modernization, efficiency, and overall value of primary health care delivered by health centers.

In fiscal year (FY) 2020, HHS announced over $117 million in awards to 1,318 health centers across all U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia. Health centers will use these one-time grant funds to further strengthen quality improvement activities.

See the QIA Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

QIA Categories

  • Improving Quality of Care Awards recognized health centers that improved quality of care between 2018 and 2019 in these three subcategories:
    • National Quality Leaders ranked in the top 1-2% of all health centers in one or more of the clinical quality measures (CQMs) that promote behavioral health, diabetes health, and heart health in 2019.
    • Health Center Quality Leaders achieved the best overall clinical performance among all health centers and were recognized in the following tiers: Gold (top 10%), Silver (top 11-20%), or Bronze top (21-30%) for CQMs in 2019.
    • Clinical Quality Improvers demonstrated at least 15% improvement for each CQM from 2018 to 2019.
  • Access Enhancer Awards recognized health centers that increased the total number of patients served and the number of patients receiving comprehensive services between 2018 and 2019.
  • Value Enhancer Awards recognized health centers that improved cost efficient care delivery as compared with the national average, while also increasing quality of care and improving patient access to comprehensive services between 2018 and 2019.
  • Health Disparities Reducer Awards recognized health centers that met or exceeded the Healthy People 2020 goals, or made at least a 10% improvement across different racial/ethnic groups between 2018 and 2019.
  • Advancing Health Information Technology (HIT) for Quality Awards recognized health centers that optimized HIT services for advancing telehealth, patient engagement, interoperability, and collection of social determinants of health to increase access to care and advance quality of care between 2018 and 2019.
  • Patient Centered Medical Home Recognition recognized health centers with patient centered medical home (PCMH) recognition in one or more delivery sites.

Badges and Certificates

HRSA also recognizes quality improvement achievements with badges on a health center’s program awardee data page on the HRSA website and certificates, which this year will be delivered electronically through grantees’ Electronic Handbooks (EHBs) and will be mailed at a later date. Contact the Health Center Program Support for questions about certificates or badges.

See what the badges look like.

Technical Assistance Resources

Fiscal Year 2020 Quality Improvement Awards
September 3, 2020
Presentation (PDF - 3 MB) | On Demand Recording HRSA BPHC exit disclaimer
Overview of the purpose and impact of the QIA, eligibility, and award criteria for the 2020 awards, as well as information about the terms of these one-time supplemental funds.

Contact Us

For additional information, please contact the QIA Team at BPHCQI@hrsa.gov.

Related Links

Quality Improvement Award Map
FY 2019 Health Center Program Data

Date Last Reviewed:  September 2020