Cross-posted from U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services Newsroom
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced nearly $107 million in Quality Improvement Awards to 1,273 health centers across nearly all U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia. Funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), health centers will use these awards to improve the quality, efficiency, and value of the health care they provide.
"President Trump's vision for healthcare aims to deliver Americans better value from the care they receive and, ultimately, better health. Community health centers have consistently delivered these kinds of results, including high-quality primary care at a significantly lower cost than their peers and above-average results in controlling chronic conditions," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. "This week's awards recognize especially high-achieving health centers. America's health centers are essential to producing results on our actionable public health challenges, like HIV/AIDS and the opioid crisis, as well as to building a healthcare system that delivers better value and puts the patient at the center."
By providing patients access to high quality, value-based care, health centers are uniquely positioned to meet the nation's most pressing health care needs, as well as emerging health priorities. HRSA-funded health centers are the first line of care in combatting the nation's opioid crisis. In 2018, health centers screened nearly 1.1 million people for substance use disorder and ultimately provided medication-assisted treatment to nearly 95,000 patients nationwide.
HRSA-funded health centers are also playing an important role in the White House Initiative Ending the HIV Epidemic by serving as a key point of entry for the detection, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of HIV. In 2018 alone, health centers provided over 2.4 million HIV tests to more than 2 million patients. Nationwide, health centers provide care to 1 in 6 patients diagnosed with HIV.
HRSA's Quality Improvement Awards recognize the work that health centers do to address health priorities by designating health centers that ranked in the top 1-2% in one or more key areas—behavioral health, diabetes prevention and management, and heart health—as National Quality Leaders. The top 30% of health centers that achieve the best overall clinical performance receive designation as Health Center Quality Leaders.
These awards also recognize health center achievements in other areas, including improving cost-efficient care delivery while also increasing quality of care, reducing health disparities, increasing both the number of patients served and patients' ability to access comprehensive services, advancing the use of health information technology, and delivering patient-centered care.
"HRSA-funded health centers continue to lead the U.S. healthcare system in providing quality, value-based care to their communities" said HRSA Acting Administrator Tom Engels. "Today we are recognizing nearly all HRSA-funded health centers for their continued improvements on clinical quality measures and supporting them to continue as quality leaders nationwide in the years to come."
For more than 50 years, health centers have delivered affordable, accessible, quality, and cost-effective primary health care services to patients. Today, nearly 1,400 health centers operate approximately 12,000 service delivery sites that provide care to more than 28 million patients nationwide.
For a list of 2019 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.