Implementing Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement Systems in Rural Health Clinics: Clinic and State Agency Responses
A provision of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 called for the Health Care Financing Administration to update its quality assessment and performance improvement regulations for federally certified rural health clinics. Many rural health clinics have small professional staffs and limited experience with quality improvement programs. Consequently, it may be difficult for some rural health clinics to comply readily with this change in the law. The purpose of this project is to evaluate the capacity of a diverse set of rural health clinics to implement the new regulations and assess the level of support the clinics might expect to receive from state agencies. Specifically, the objectives of the study are:
- To review, evaluate, and interpret the final quality assessment and performance improvement regulations;
- To assess the potential of a diverse set of rural health clinics to comply with the regulations;
- To assess the capacity of state agencies (licensing and certification agencies and office of rural health) to provide rural health clinics with technical assistance in regard to quality assessment and performance improvement; and
- To recommend activities and studies rural health clinics may undertake to comply with the new regulations.