National Quality Award Program


This year more than 200 long term care providers earned a 2022 National Quality Award! Recipients were celebrated at the Quality Award Ceremony during AHCA/NCAL’s 73rd Convention & Expo. Keep up the amazing work. ​ 

View the 2022 Recipients View 2022 Quality Award ceremony pictures


​Accepting 2023​ ​applications in the Portal. Need h​elp? Visit the Help page!

 What You Need to Know

  • New to the program? Start at the Bronze level and learn more about the value of the program.
  • Continuing your quality journey?​ Work on your 2023 application in the Portal. Download Silver or Gold​​​​​​​​​ level materials below.
  • Looking for other ways to participate? Learn about becoming an Examiner or joining the Quality Award Board.
  • January 26, 2023 – Application deadline​ by 8pm ET



Pinnacle study finds correlation between Quality Award achievement and higher survey results study finds correlation between Quality Award achievement and higher survey results12/5/2022 5:00:00 AM<strong>​</strong><span style="font-size:14.6667px;"><strong>Data Show AHCA/NCAL Quality Awards Improve Customer Satisfaction, Employee Retention Among Recipient Centers.</strong></span><div><span style="font-size:14.6667px;"><strong></strong></span><span style="font-size:11pt;">​</span><div><div>A recent <a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">study</a> by Pinnacle Quality Insights tells a convincing story regarding the impact of the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award program on recipient centers. The program routinely gathers data from recipient centers to better understand the effects of the Quality Award program on centers who pursue and achieve awards. This study is the first to look specifically at Silver Quality Award recipients and the impact of their achievements on customer satisfaction and employee retention.<br><br>Pinnacle's assessment was an outcome of many recent challenges to the industry, including the pressing and ongoing workforce shortage as well as the overall recovery of the sector after the COVID-19 outbreak. These challenges have created an increasingly challenging set of circumstances for long term and post-acute care centers to overcome as they work towards the overarching goal of providing quality care to millions of people across the country. By looking more closely at the correlation of the Quality Award program with customer satisfaction and employee retention, AHCA/NCAL hoped to be able to find additional compelling data to support providers' pursuit of the program as a means of recovery and business excellence in a post-COVID environment.<br><br>As noted by Pinnacle in its <a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">online release</a> of the study's results, the study compared performance of Silver Quality Award recipient versus centers those that did not win an award from 2018-2022 (with a focus on the year before, the year of, and the year after receiving an award). <br><br><strong>Key Results</strong><div><strong></strong><b><br></b><strong>Result #1: </strong>Centers that achieved the Silver Quality Award saw on average a 7.9% higher score in employee satisfaction over non-recipients the year before receiving the award.<br><br>As noted in the Pinnacle report, “centers that won silver National Quality Awards for employee satisfaction enjoyed the greatest margin of superiority over non-winners the year prior to receiving the award. Awardees scored higher in each of the three most influential survey categories, with a 7.9% average higher score."<br><br><strong>Key Result #2:</strong> Customer Satisfaction increases notably over non-recipient organizations in the year the center achieves the award, with a notable spike in Q4 when awards are announced. <br><br>Centers that received the Silver Quality Awards had an advantage over non-winners in every survey response category for customer satisfaction in the year prior to receiving an award, but the difference became more pronounced in the year that the center achieved the award. Throughout the year the center received the award, customer satisfaction scores were up across all measures, with a noticeable increase in Q4 when AHCA/NCAL officially celebrates award recipients.<br><br><strong>Summary & Takeaways:</strong><br>Pinnacle reported increases in employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction for Silver Quality Award recipients the year prior, the year of, and the year following the achievement of the award. This leaves the AHCA/NCAL team with a better understanding of the true impact of the process of achieving a Quality Award on a center and its residents, patients and team. <br><br>In our daily work, the Quality Awards team routinely talks about the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Program as a journey, and we do this intentionally. The impact of the award is not limited by or confined to the achievement of the award itself. In fact, the data show that teams come together and feel the strongest in the year prior to achieving the award–giving us clear insights and information about the impact of the pursuit of the award on a team. In fact, it shows us that the pursuit of the award is, in many ways, a more impactful process than achieving the award itself. This understanding is essential in helping to grow the program: it's about the decisions that leadership teams and staff make today that will pay off in the future. Teams and staff members will be committed to the process and the journey an entire year before their customer satisfaction rates will follow suit–but the customer satisfaction rates do increase and will increase over time. <br><br>To learn more about Pinnacle Quality Insights, visit their <a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">website</a>. To read the study summary, <a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">click h​ere</a>. To learn more about the Quality Award program, visit the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award <a href="/Quality/National-Quality-Award-Program/Pages/default.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">website</a>.<br><br><br>​<br><br></div></div></div></div>
2023 Intent to Apply Deadline Next Week - November 15 Intent to Apply Deadline Next Week - November 1511/7/2022 5:00:00 AMNext Tuesday, November 15, is the Intent to Apply (ITA) deadline for the 2023 AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program. This deadline is the first major milestone in the Quality Award journey. <br><br>AHCA/NCAL encourage members across the country to begin or continue their Quality Award journey this year.<br><br><strong>All ITA submissions are due by 8pm ET on November 15 in the Quality Award Portal</strong>. The ITA submission takes only a few minutes to complete!<br><br>Information about how to submit an Intent to Apply, resources to support the application process, and more can be found online at the <a href="/Quality/National-Quality-Award-Program/Pages/default.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Quality Award website.</a><div><br><div style="text-align:center;text-decoration:underline;"><a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank"><strong>SUBMIT YOUR 2023 INTENT </strong><strong>TO APPLY</strong></a><br></div><br> Are you looking for other opportunities to participate in the program?  <br><br><ul><li><strong>Volunteer as an Examiner – Deadline to join is by 8pm ET on Thursday, November 10</strong>: One of the best ways to understand the demands of the criteria is to serve as an Examiner. The program is looking for individuals interested in learning more about quality improvement and performance excellence to serve as Examiners. <a href="/Quality/National-Quality-Award-Program/Pages/Examiners.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true">Learn more.</a></li><li><strong>Join the Quality Award Board - Deadline to join is by 8pm ET on Thursday, November 10</strong>: The 12-member board has oversight over key functions and the strategic direction of the program. Learn more and nominate yourself or someone you know at the <a href="/Quality/National-Quality-Award-Program/Pages/National-Quality-Award-Board-of-Overseers.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true">board website</a>.  </li></ul><br></div>
Quality Award Recipients Outperform Competitors Award Recipients Outperform Competitors11/1/2022 4:00:00 AM<p><span style="font-size:11pt;">The AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Program offers numerous benefits and advantages to centers who participate in the three-level award journey, but no impact is as telling as the statistics themselves.  </span></p><div><span style="font-size:11pt;"><br></span></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;">To date, the Quality Award program has honored more than 2,146 Bronze, 746 Silver, and 49 Gold award recipients since the program’s inception in 1996. In that time, AHCA/NCAL has had the opportunity to look closely at the true impact of the program on the centers that participate.   </span><br></div><div><br></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;">The results contain statistics that prove the ROI of the program: by taking the time to complete the paperwork, make the commitment to the Quality Award journey, and implement systematic changes in quality care, centers are improving in national measures.  </span></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;"><br></span></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;">For example:  <br></span><br></div><div><ul><li><span style="font-size:11pt;">73% of Quality Award recipients earned 3-5 Stars in Survey, compared to 55% of the national average  </span></li><li><span style="font-size:11pt;">63% of Quality Award recipients earned 3-5 Stars in Staffing, compared to 49% of the national average  </span></li><li><span style="font-size:11pt;">87% of Quality Award recipients earned 3-5 Stars in Quality Metrics, compared to 80% of the national average  </span></li></ul></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;"><br></span></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;">In addition to changing their Five Star ratings, AHCA/NCAL Quality Award recipients can demonstrate strength in more specific ways, too. Quality Award recipients, compared to the national average, outperform non-award recipients by:  <br></span><br></div><div><ul><li><span style="font-size:11pt;">1% in the occurrence of pressure ulcers  </span></li><li><span style="font-size:11pt;">5% in the occurrence of urinary tract infections  </span></li><li><span style="font-size:11pt;">2% in the prevention and measure of falls  </span></li><li><span style="font-size:11pt;">10% in the measure of off-label use of antipsychotics  </span></li></ul></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;"><br></span></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;"><strong>Commit to the Journey (and Save Money!): ITA Deadline is November 15  </strong></span><br></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;">The time to begin your AHCA/NCAL Quality Award journey is NOW! The Intent-to-Apply deadline is November 15. We encourage applica</span><span style="font-size:11pt;">nts who plan to apply for a Quality Award to submit an ITA by logging into the <a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Quality Award Portal</a> before the deadline on November 15, 2022.   </span><br></div><div>  </div><div>Applying for a National Quality Award provides a framework that can be used to prepare for and make critical improvements and serves as a team-building activity to engage staff across all levels.  <br></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;"><br></span></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;">Applicants who submit an Intent to Apply will save money on their overall application fee. No paperwork or application is needed. You can access help documents for the Quality Award Portal <a href="/Quality/National-Quality-Award-Program/Pages/Help-Documents.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">here</a>.  Submit your ITA payment by logging in to the <a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Quality Award Portal</a>.    </span><br></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;"><br></span></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;"><strong>Questions about the National Quality Award Program?  <br></strong></span><br></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;">The Quality Award team has created a number of resources to help applicants along the way. There are roadmaps available for <a href="/Quality/National-Quality-Award-Program/Documents/Bronze/Bronze%20Roadmap.pdf" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Bronze</a>, <a href="/Quality/National-Quality-Award-Program/Documents/Silver/Silver%20Roadmap.pdf" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Silver</a>, and <a href="/Quality/National-Quality-Award-Program/Documents/Gold/Gold%20Roadmap.pdf" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Gold </a>awards, plus many other downloads. All resources are available on the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award <a href="/Quality/National-Quality-Award-Program/Pages/default.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-4">web page​</span></a>. While you’re online, be sure to check out the ongoing series with the Top 10 Tips for applying for the Quality Award program. The first seven tips are available below, and more tips are to come before the November 15 deadline!   <br></span>​<br></div><div><ul><li><span style="font-size:11pt;"><a href="/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/TIP-1-Make-Your-Mission-Matter.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Tip 1: Make Your Mission Matter  </a></span></li><li><span style="font-size:11pt;"><a href="/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Tip-2-Listen,-Engage,-and-Value-Your-People.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Tip 2: Listen, Engage, and Value Your People  </a></span></li><li><span style="font-size:11pt;"><a href="/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Tip-3-Building-Customer-Relationships.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Tip 3: Build Customer Relationships  </a></span></li><li><span style="font-size:11pt;"><a href="/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/TIP-4---Don’t-Leave-Workforce-Engagement-Out-Of-Your-Strategy.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Tip 4: Don’t Leave Workforce Engagement Out of Your Strategy </a> </span></li><li><span style="font-size:11pt;"><a href="/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/TIP-5---Organizational-Learning.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Tip 5: Organizational Learning </a> </span></li><li><span style="font-size:11pt;"><a href="/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/TIP-6---Benchmarking.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Tip 6: Benchmarking </a> </span></li><li><span style="font-size:11pt;"><a href="/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/TIP-7---All-Work-Is-A-Process.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Tip 7: All Work is a Process</a>  </span></li></ul></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;"><br></span></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;">If you would like to speak directly with a member of the Quality Awards team, please email <a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">​</a> and we will be in touch! </span><br></div>The AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Program offers numerous benefits and advantages to centers who participate in the three-level award journey, but no impact is as telling as the statistics themselves. 
TIP 7 - All Work Is A Process 7 - All Work Is A Process10/17/2022 4:00:00 AM​<strong>​​​The final tip in the "</strong><a href="/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Seven-Tips-for-Performance-Improvement-Throughout-September.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true"><strong>7 Tips for Performance Improvement</strong></a><strong>" series is that all work is a process. </strong><div><br></div><div>A process is a series of action​s or steps taken to achieve a particular end. Anything can be considered a process, from planning a wedding to conducting heart surgery. And don't forget to measure. A process can't be understood or improved if you are not measuring. For example, how many thank you notes are you buying vs how many are you using?<br><br><a href="/Quality/National-Quality-Award-Program/Pages/default.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true"><strong>Learn</strong></a><strong> more about the importance of the process and measuring by working on your 2023 National Quality Award application. Don't forget to </strong><a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true"><strong>submit your 2023 intent to apply by 8pm ET November 15, 2022</strong></a><strong>.</strong><br><br>Based on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program helps you to evaluate your organization's strengths and opportunities, identify critical areas for improvement, and implement a plan to be stronger and more resilient than ever before. <br><br><br><br>​<br>​<br></div>

​The Award Levels

 Bronze Award

About the Bronze Award

The first step in the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program is the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award.

The Bronze Award level provides applicants with the tools and resources they need for continuous im​provement in quality care. Through the Bronze criteria, based on the Baldrige Excellence Framework, applicants will assess their organization’s mission, vision, and key factors that lead to success. At this award level, utilizing the criteria questions applicants develop an organizational profile for their center. Applying for the AHCA/NCAL Bronze National Quality Award gives your organization a strong foundation for the second step—the Silver – Achievement in Quality Award​ level.  

Questions about the contents of this program may be directed to

 Bronze Application & Resources

Essential Resources

 ‭(Hidden)‬ 2021 Bronze Key Dates

June 3, 2021

 Silver Award

About the Silver Award

The second step in the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program is the Silver – Achievement in Quality Award. 

At the Silver Award level, applicants continue to learn and develop effective approaches that help improve performance and health care outcomes. The Silver criteria, based on the Baldrige Excellence Framework, provide applicants with a thorough assessment of how their organization works, its effectiveness, and tools for improvement in their approaches. The Silver level gives a clear pathway for recipients moving to the highest honor of recognition, the Gold – Excellence in Quality Award. 

Applicants must receive a Bronze – Commitment to Quality​ Award before applying at the Silver level. 

Questions about the contents of this program may be directed to

 Silver Application & Resources

Essential Resources
Supporting Documents
Supporting Documents for Assisted Living

 ‭(Hidden)‬ 2021 Silver Key Dates

June 24, 2021

 Gold Award

About the Gold Award

The final step in the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program is the Gold – Excellence in Quality Award. Recipients of the Gold Award are considered the best of the best in the profession.

​At the Gold Award level, applicants must show superior performance in areas of the criteria including leadership, strategic planning, and customer and staff satisfaction. By completing the Gold level criteria, organizations take their quality journey to a higher level through the valuable feedback received in the application process and thereby reaching organizational goals. Gold applicants address the Baldrige Excellence Framework in its entirety.

Applicants are required to receive the Bronze – Commitment to Quality and Silver – Achievement in Quality​ Awards before applying at the Gold level. 

Questions about the contents of this program may be directed to

Facility Spotlight

2021 Gold Award:​

2020 Gold Award:​ ​​​

 Gold Application & Resources

Essential Resources
Supporting Documents
Supporting Documents for Assisted Living

 ‭(Hidden)‬ 2021 Gold Key Dates

 About The Program

​The AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program helps you to evaluate your organization’s strengths and opportunities, identify critical areas for improvement, and implement a plan to be stronger, more resilient, and suc​c​essful than ever before. ​​​​​​​​​​​​The ​​three-level program evaluates long term care organizations capabilities against nationally recognized standards for excellence, making it one of the most comprehensive and cost-effective performance assessments available to providers. Each progressive award levels— Bronze – Commitment to Quality, ​​Silver - Achievement in Quality, and Gold – Excellence in Quality, requires a more detailed demonstration of superior performance. Learn more​​​​​ about the value of the program.​