August 15, 2018
HHS awards $125 million to support community health center quality improvement
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $125 million in Quality Improvement grant awards to 1,352 community health centers across all U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia. Funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), health centers will use these funds to continue to improve quality, efficiency, and the effectiveness of healthcare delivery in the communities they serve. This announcement comes during National Health Center Week, the annual celebration that highlights the critical role community health centers play in providing high-quality, affordable, primary healthcare.
“Community health centers provide coordinated, comprehensive, and patient-centered care to millions of Americans,” said HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan. “They have a track record of delivering quality care at significantly lower cost, and are vital partners in our movement toward a health system that delivers quality, affordable, value-based health care for all Americans.”
HRSA’s Quality Improvement grant awards promote continued community health center improvements in the following categories: Expanding access to comprehensive care, improving care quality and outcomes, increasing comprehensive care delivery in a cost-effective way, addressing health disparities, advancing the use of health information technology, and delivering patient-centered care.
Community health centers that exceed national clinical quality benchmarks, like Healthy People 2020 goals, receive special designation as National Quality Leaders. The top 30 percent of community health centers that achieve the best overall clinical performance receive designation as Health Center Quality Leaders.
“Quality, value-based care is a priority of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and HRSA-funded health centers serve as leaders in quality healthcare in the U.S.,” said HRSA Administrator George Sigounas, MS, Ph.D. “Nearly all HRSA-funded health centers demonstrated improvement in one or more clinical quality measures from the year prior, and these funds will support health centers’ work to improve the quality of care they deliver every day in their communities around the country.”
HRSA also released new data compiled from health centers through its Uniform Data System (UDS) reporting, providing an update on health centers’ provision of primary healthcare services. In 2017, more than 27 million people (approximately 1 in 12 U.S. residents) relied on a HRSA-supported health center for affordable, accessible primary healthcare including:
- One in nine children 17 years or younger;
- One in five rural residents;
- One in three people living in poverty; and
- More than 355,000 U.S. veterans.
For more than 50 years, health centers have delivered affordable, accessible, quality, and cost-effective primary healthcare services to patients. Today, nearly 1,400 health centers operate more than 11,000 service delivery sites nationwide.
For a list of FY 2018 Quality Improvement Awards recipients, visit: https://bphc.hrsa.gov/programopportunities/fundingopportunities/qualityimprovement/index.html
To learn more about HRSA’s Health Center Program, visit: http://bphc.hrsa.gov/about.
To locate a HRSA-funded health center, visit: http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov.