Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Quality Awards – Not Just for SNFs


Over the 20 years the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Program has been in existence, it’s bestowed more than 4,500 Bronze, Silver and Gold awards. Most of these awards have gone to skilled nursing care centers, but assisted living members are increasingly participating in the program.

In 2015, a record number of assisted living communities applied for and were awarded Bronze. Silver recipients also doubled among ALs compared to last year. More and more NCAL members are seeing the value in participating in the Quality Award Program.

AL providers say they see the return on investment from both a marketing and financial standpoint. Most importantly, the awards allow them to focus on quality and excellence to enhance the lives of those they serve.

Why should your assisted living community apply for a Quality Award? Let us expand:
  • The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is a framework that works for all types of organizations (even those outside long term care). The Quality Award Program is based on Baldrige’s core values and criteria. It offers your AL community an integrated approach to improving key management areas: leadership, strategy, measurement & analysis, workforce, operations, and results. These areas aren’t exclusive to SNFs.
  • Because quality improvement and excellence are important as an assisted living provider. While many may see AL as a social model of long term care, the number of potential residents and their acuity levels are on the rise. And new payment models like accountable care organizations and managed care can be selective in who they partner with. Today’s health care environment is demanding more evidence of a commitment to quality. Evidence like a Quality Award could help you stay competitive in your market and build a process for your organization to stay on top of your quality game for the foreseeable future.
  • Receiving a Quality Award is a valuable marketing tool. Customers can be a little more selective in finding assisted living care than perhaps skilled nursing. Review websites and social media allows customers to expand their search like never before. Set your community apart and impress current residents and potential customers with this national distinction.
So, how do AL members get started?

2016 Quality Award application packets are live on our website. Download your respective level now to see how your community should start addressing areas of the application. Note:
  • There’s a Bronze application specifically for AL providers that allows you to submit resident-related results (clinical or non-clinical) and speaks more to ALs.
  • While there aren’t specific AL applications for Silver and Gold, they still work well for these providers. More data and demonstrable evidence that your organization is improving quality care is necessary, so make sure you check out AHCA/NCAL’s data tip sheet on where to find comparable data.
  • We have other resources for each level of the Quality Award Program to guide you through the process. Check out our resources for Bronze, Silver or Gold.
  • Sign up for the Intent to Apply program later this month. You’ll save on your overall application fee and get access to exclusive resources and tips.

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