On Dec. 9, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced $36.3 million in Affordable Care Act (ACA) funding to 1,113 health centers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and seven U.S. territories, including 37 in Pennsylvania totaling $1,350,173. The health centers received this funding to recognize quality improvement achievements and continue ongoing quality improvement initiatives.
According to an HHS news release, health centers receiving these funds are being recognized for high levels of quality performance in one or more of the following categories:
- Health center quality leaders —Among the top 30 percent of all health centers that achieved the best overall clinical outcomes, demonstrating their ability to focus on quality in all aspects of their clinical operations (nationwide, 361 health centers received funding in this category, totaling approximately $11.2 million).
- National quality leaders—Exceeded national clinical benchmarks for chronic disease management, preventive care, perinatal/prenatal care, showing the critical role that health centers play in promoting quality health care nationwide (nationwide, 57 health centers receiving funding in this category, totaling approximately $2.5 million)n
- Clinical quality improvers — Demonstrated at least a 10 percent improvement in clinical quality measures between 2012 and 2013, demonstrating a significant improvement in the health of the patients they serve (nationwide, 1,058 health centers received funding in this category, totaling approximately $17.7 million).
- EHR reporters — Used EHRs to report clinical quality measure data on all of their patients (332 health centers receiving funding in this category, totaling approximately $4.9 million).
“The funding rewards health centers that have a proven track record in clinical quality improvement, which translates to better patient care, and it allows them to expand and improve their systems and infrastructure to bring the highest quality primary care services to the communities they serve,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell in the news release.
Nearly 1,300 health centers supported by the Health and Resources Administration (HRSA) operate more than 9,000 service delivery sites, providing care to nearly 22 million patients in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin.