The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) has opened its National Quality Award Program portal, allowing provider applicants to submit their Intent to Apply and to submit applications in the portal. 

The association said it hopes that providers will consider applying for the award, noting that participating in the program has many benefits, such as:

--It provides a proven framework that organizations can use to make improvements in any clinical, quality, or other operational function (staff engagement, customer satisfaction, hospital readmissions).

--It prepares organizations to meet regulatory requirements and navigate a changing market. 

--It serves as a team-building activity to engage staff across all levels of the organization.

--Organizations gain external recognition, serving as a marketing resource for consumers, referral sources, and other key stakeholders.

--Participants receive customized feedback with their top strengths and improvement areas.

Those interested can visit the Quality Award Website to download applications and materials for each respective award level and to learn how to begin preparing.

AHCA/NCAL said the key 2021 program dates are:

--Sept. 17, 2020 – Quality Award Portal and Intent to Apply opens

--Nov. 12, 2020 – Intent to Apply Deadline

--Jan. 28, 2021 – Application and Fee Deadline 

Other ways to get involved in the program include becoming an Examiner for the 2021 program cycle. Examiners play a significant role in reviewing Quality Award applications and impacting quality improvement in organizations across the country, AHCA/NCAL said.

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