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Agency salutes 10 states for top performances

Perry Memorial Hospital is among the 2019 honorees

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently presented 10 states with the 2019 Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) Quality Performance Awards.

These awards recognize achieving the highest reporting rates and levels of improvement in critical access hospitals over the past year.

Illinois was among the 10 top performing states, and Perry Memorial Hospital in Princeton and OSF St. Paul Medical Center in Mendota are among the Illinois critical access hospitals honored.

Among the requirements for being a critical access hospital are location in a rural area at least 35 miles away from any other hospital or CAH, having no more than 25 inpatient beds, maintaining an annual average length of stay of no more than 96 hours for acute inpatient care, and offering 24-hour, 7-day-a-week emergency care.

The remaining nine states are Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Michigan, Utah, Alabama, Nebraska, Maine, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

“I cannot say enough on how honored I was to accept this award on behalf of our Illinois critical access hospitals,” said Angie Charlet, ICAHN senior director of Quality and Operations, who accepted the award on behalf of Illinois’ 51 CAHs during ceremonies held in Washington, D.C.

“Our CAHs continue to demonstrate their commitment to quality as noted by the efforts put forward to not just report, but act on even the small numbers for performance improvement and overall quality of care and services provided to their communities,” Charlet said.

Critical access hospitals

The Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit agency established in 2003 and located in Princeton, whose mission is to strengthen critical access hospitals through collaboration. ICAHN’s overarching mission is to preserve access to rural health care while improving the vibrancy and viability of its communities served.

The aforementioned 10 states built on their previous successes by investing funding from HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) into quality improvement projects and developing technical assistance resources that improve high-quality care in their communities.

States also work collaboratively with every CAH and their respective partners to share best practices and utilize data to drive quality improvement in their hospitals.

HRSA created the MBQIP to promote high-quality care at rural hospitals with 25 or fewer beds. Hospitals that participate in MBQIP voluntarily report quality measures relevant to the care they provide, share data, and take on quality improvement initiatives.

Of those engaging in improvement initiatives, 72 percent have improved outcomes on the reported measures.

“MBQIP is part of a broader portfolio of activities within HRSA to preserve hospitals and help rural communities to continue their access to quality health care. Ensuring rural hospital viability is an important component of HRSA’s strategic efforts on high quality and value-based care,” Dr. George Sigounas, HRSA administrator, said.

“We’re happy to work with the states on this effort,” Tom Morris, FORHP associate administrator, said. “They’ve done a great job showing that CAHs can be national leaders in quality improvement, and that results in better care in rural communities.”

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