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National Quality Measures

Skilled nursing centers have come a long way since their inception in the 1900’s. However, the quality journey never ends for the profession. AHCA remains steadfast in assisting skilled nursing care centers in continuing to improve the quality of care provided to residents. Through connecting facilities to valuable resources and developing innovative solutions to stakeholders, AHCA strives to make the long term and post-acute care sector at the quality forefront of our nation’s health care delivery system.  For more information on the valuable tools we provide, explore the following links.  Some links may require your AHCA/NCAL login.  For assistance, please email update@ahca.org.



LTC Trend Trackersm is a web-based tool that enables long term and post-acute care providers to access key information that can help their organization succeed. This exclusive benefit for AHCA members, allows skilled nursing organizations to benchmark personal metrics to those of their peers and examine ongoing quality improvement efforts. LTC Trend Tracker is AHCA members’ one-stop-shop to gain timely information and valuable insight about their own performance as well as the entire profession’s. 


The American Health Care Association (AHCA) has broadened its Quality Initiative* to further improve the quality of care in America’s skilled nursing care centers.  The expansion will challenge members to apply the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework—the foundation of the 2015-2018 Quality Initiative—to meet measurable targets in eight areas with a focus on three key priorities: improvements in organizational success, short-stay/post-acute care, and long-term/dementia care.
The AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program provides a pathway for providers of long term and post-acute care services to journey towards performance excellence. The program is based on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program.

Member centers may apply for three progressive levels of awards: Bronze—Commitment to Quality, Silver—Achievement in Quality, or Gold—Excellence in Quality.  Each level has its own distinct rigors and requirements for quality and performance excellence.

The Five-Star Quality Rating System is a tool to help consumers select and compare skilled nursing care centers.  Created by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2008, the rating system uses information from Health Care Surveys (both standard and complaint), Quality Measures, and Staffing. The Nursing Home Compare website features the rating system. For more information on changes to the rating system, visit AHCA/NCAL.


Section 6102(c) of the Affordable Care Act requires that all skilled nursing care centers develop Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) programs. The statute requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop a prototype QAPI program, establish standards, and provide technical assistance to centers on the development of best-practices in order to meet such standards. One year after a final rule for QAPI is issued, all nursing centers must have in place and implement an acceptable QAPI plan.

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