Congratulations to Health Centers that Earned CHQR’s and Donations from Aetna

September 21, 2022

Congratulations to health centers that earned Community Health Quality Recognition (CHQR) badges from HRSA this year and to Primary Health Care, Inc., and Community Health Centers of Southeastern Iowa for receiving $50,000 donations from Aetna a CVS Health® company (NYSE: CVS). 

The CHQR badges recognize health centers that have made notable quality improvement achievements in the areas of access, quality, health equity, health information technology, and COVID-19 public health emergency response for the most recent Uniform Data System (UDS) reporting period. 

Iowa earned multiple badges this year ranging from increasing the number of patients attending the health centers to providing critical public health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The badges earned in Iowa this year include: 

  • Patient Centered Medical Home Recognition  
  • Access Enhancer 
  • Advancing Health Information Technology for Quality 
  • Health Disparities Reducer 
  • Health Center Quality Leader 
  • Addressing Social Risk Factors  
  • COVID-19 Public Health Champion 

The first donation from Aetna will aid the Des Moines area Community Health Centers by supporting a leadership training program for their clinicians. This program will focus on improving patient outcomes by driving financial stability and closing health equity gaps.  

“This investment in our clinical leaders, will not only lead to better health outcomes, but will further support our work as the health care system moves to value-based arrangements that align provider incentives with quality care,” says Kelly Huntsman, CEO of Primary Health Care.  

The second donation to the West Burlington area Community Health Centers will be used to hire a community health worker to conduct a pilot program. Through the pilot program, more services like remote patient monitoring and an increased focus on telehealth will be available to patients in the West Burlington area.  

“By adding a community health worker to our team, we can enhance our use of telehealth to support better health outcomes for patients in rural parts of the state,” says Antonio Flores, CEO of Community Health Centers of Southeastern Iowa. 

These Community Health Centers will now be able to provide better access to high-quality health care to those living within the respective communities.   

For more information on the badges: 

  • Patient Centered Medical Home Recognition (PCMH): recognizes health centers with PCMH recognition in one or more delivery sites.  
  • Access Enhancer: recognizes health centers that have increased the total number of patients and the number of patients who receive at least one comprehensive service (mental health, substance abuse, vision, dental, and/or enabling) by at least 5% during consecutive UDS reporting periods (2020 and 2021 UDS).  
  • Advancing Health Information Technology (HIT) for Quality: Recognizes health centers that meet all criteria to optimize HIT services. Health centers must meet the following five criteria: 
  • Adopted an electronic health record (EHR) system 
  • Offers telehealth services 
  • Exchanges clinical information electronically with key providers health care settings 
  • Engages patients through health IT 
  • Collects data on patient social risk factors 
  • Health Disparities Reducer: recognizes health centers that qualify for the Access Enhancer badge and meet at least one of the following two criteria: 
  • Demonstrate at least a 10%-point improvement in low birth weight, hypertension control, and/or uncontrolled diabetes clinical quality measures (CQMs) during consecutive UDS reporting years for at least one racial/ethnic group, while maintaining or improving the health center’s overall CQM performance from the previous reporting year; and/or 
  • Meet the following benchmarks for all racial/ethnic groups served within the most recent UDS reporting year. 
  • Health Center Quality Leader: awarded to health centers that achieve the best overall CQM performance among all health centers, and are calculated using the average of the 2021 Adjusted Quartile Rankings (AQR) for all CQMs reported by a health center. Health centers with AQR averages in the top three deciles (top 30%) are awarded the following HCQL badges: 
  • Top 10%: Gold 
  • Top 11-20%: Silver  
  • Top 21-30%: Bronze  
  • Addressing Social Risk Factors: recognizes health centers that are screening for social risk factors impacting patient health and are increasing access to enabling services. Health centers must meet the following two criteria:  
  • Collect data on patient social risk factors 
  • Increase the proportion of patients receiving enabling services between consecutive UDS reporting years  
  • COVID-19 Public Health Champion: recognizes health center contributions to providing critical public health services to health center services during the COVID-19 public health emergency, based on 2021 UDS data. The badge is awarded to the top 10% of health centers that provided COVID-19 vaccinations and/or COVID-19 diagnostic testing to the largest proportion of health center patients.