Wood River earns gold in health care delivery

WOOD RIVER HEALTH announced that it has recently been recognized as a Health Center Quality Leader by the Health Resources & Services Administration. / COURTESY WOOD RIVER HEALTH

HOPKINTON – Wood River Health announced that it has been recognized as a Health Center Quality Leader by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

“This year, Wood River Health was awarded the 2023 Health Center Quality Leader Gold badge. Only 149 health centers in the country received this recognition in 2023,” said Wood River Health CEO and President Alison Croke. “This accomplishment was achievable because all of our departments work as a team to provide the highest quality of care for the members of our community. This team includes both the clinicians who work face-to-face with patients and families, as well as the clinical data analysts who work behind the scenes to ensure our data and reporting are accurate.”

The administration’s Community Health Center Quality Recognition badges are based on the Uniform Data System, which is an annual reporting system that provides standardized information about the performance and operation of health centers treating underserved communities and vulnerable populations.

The Health Center Quality Leader recognition is awarded to only 10% of community health centers in the U.S. and is based on quality measures submitted to the Uniform Data System in the last reporting period, according to a news release.

National Quality Leader badges are awarded to health centers and look-alikes that meet or exceed national benchmarks for one or more of the clinical quality measure groups that promote behavioral, heart and diabetes health, HIV prevention and care, as well as maternal and child health, according to the release.

To be eligible for a National Quality Leader badge, health centers must report a minimum number of patients in a clinical quality measure’s denominator. They must report at least 70 patients in each measure denominator and meet or exceed the benchmark threshold for all measures in a National Quality Leader category, according to the release.

The only exceptions are the HIV link to care measure for the HIV Prevention and Care badge and the low birthweight measure for the Maternal and Child Health badge, both of which require a minimum of 30 patients in the CQM denominator.

Wood River Health also received badges for Advancing Health Information Technology for Quality, Health Disparities Reducer, and Access Enhancer.

The Advancing HIT for Quality badge recognizes health centers that meet criteria of optimizing health information technology services. Qualified health centers must meet the following criteria: adopted an electronic health record system; offers telehealth services; exchanges clinical information electronically with key providers in health care settings; engages patients through health information technology; and collects data on patient social risk factors.

The Access Enhancer badge recognizes health centers that have increased the total number of patients who receive at least one comprehensive service by at least 5% during the reporting periods. Comprehensive health services include mental health, substance use disorder, vision, dental and/or enabling services. To be eligible, a health center must achieve at least one HCQL or NQL badge or demonstrate at least a 15% improvement in one or more measures between consecutive reporting periods, according to the release.

The Health Disparities Reducer badge 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% improvement in low birth weight, hypertension control, or uncontrolled diabetes clinical quality measures during consecutive uniform data system reporting years for at least one racial or ethnic group, while maintaining or improving the health center’s overall clinical quality measures performance from the previous reporting year, according to the release. The health centers also must meet certain benchmarks for all racial or ethnic groups served within the most recent uniform data system reporting year.

The Health Resources and Services Administration serves people who are geographically isolated and economically or medically vulnerable. HRSA programs support people with low incomes, people with HIV, pregnant people, children, parents, rural communities, transplant patients, and other communities in need, as well as the health workforce, health systems and facilities that care for them.

Katie Castellani is a PBN staff writer. You may contact her at 

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