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Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project

The Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) focuses on quality improvement efforts in the 45 states that participate in the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program. Through Flex, MBQIP works with more than 1,350 small hospitals certified as rural Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), reporting on quality measures aligned with those collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Quality measures quantify health care processes, outcomes, patient perceptions, and organizational structure and systems to guide decisions about improvements to health care services.

MBQIP provides the opportunity for rural hospitals to evaluate their quality data and compare outcomes with that of hospitals with similar characteristics (such as small bed size, limited resources, and health services). MBQIP quality improvement efforts focus on strategies for hospitals serving smaller patient populations.

What is the purpose of MBQIP?

MBQIP’s primary goal is to improve the quality of care patients receive in Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). MBQIP provides incentives for these hospitals to voluntarily collect and report quality measure data in order to drive quality improvement efforts. 

The project provides an opportunity for individual hospitals to look at their data, measure their outcomes against other hospitals in their state, and form partnerships to design activities that ultimately improve patient outcomes. CAHs report data in four areas:

  • Patient Safety/Inpatient
  • Outpatient Care
  • Patient Engagement
  • Care Transitions

What is the impact?

Rural hospitals are key safety-net providers to individuals living in rural communities. This means that they provide valuable health services to medically underserved communities.

By using strong existing connections and commitment to providing high-quality care in rural communities, states and CAHs can use data to drive quality improvement through MBQIP.

Every year, we recognize 10 top performing states who achieved the highest reporting rates and levels of improvement in CAHs over the past 12 months. In 2020, the top 10 ranked states on quality reporting and performance were the following:

  1. Virginia
  2. South Carolina
  3. Wisconsin
  4. Idaho
  5. Michigan
  6. Georgia
  7. Nebraska
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Illinois
  10. Utah

CAHs interested in participating in MBQIP should contact their State Flex Program HRSA Exit Disclaimer.

Contact Us

Natalia Vargas, MPH
MBQIP Program Lead
Email: nvargas@hrsa.gov
Phone: (301) 945-0782

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Research and Resources

Date Last Reviewed:  August 2020