Quality Improvement

AHCA/NCAL National Quality Awards

The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living encourages member nursing centers and assisted living facilities to participate in this distinctive awards program built on the principles of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Health Care Criteria. If you have any questions about the National Quality Awards program, please contact Koko Okano of FHCA. For technical questions, such as obtaining username and password, obtaining or questions about past applications submitted from your center and online submission help, please contact the AHCA Quality Award Team. *The application status and application history is strictly confidential between your center and AHCA/NCAL.

FHCA members are committed to these awards, as proven by the significant number of each award level earned to date:

  • Bronze - Commitment to Quality: 365

  • Silver - Achievement in Quality: 59

  • Gold - Excellence in Quality: 2

2020 Application Information

Quality Award Portal

Click here.

2020 Program Dates

All deadlines are 8:00 p.m. EST

September 19, 2019: Quality Award Portal Opens

November 21, 2019: Intent to Apply Deadline

January 23, 2020: Application and Fee Deadline

Recertification Policy

In 2014, AHCA/NCAL introduced a new recertification policy that affect all the current and past recipients. Under this policy, Bronze and Silver Quality Award recipients will have a limited amount of time to apply for the next award level (Silver or Gold) before being designated as a “past recipient” of the award, a status that requires the center to reapply at the Bronze level if it decides to participate in the program again. For centers that received a Quality Award prior to 2014 but have not yet submitted the application for the next level, applications for the next level must be submitted by the year 2017. If the award recipient did not submit an application by the 2017 deadline, the center will become a past recipient and must restart from the Bronze Award level.

Quality Award Workshops

FHCA provides hands-on workshops across the state for centers pursuing the AHCA/NCAL Bronze, Silver and Gold National Quality Awards. These intensive workshops are led by FHCA's Koko Okano, an AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Master Examiner and an examiner of the National Baldrige Program. FHCA suggests centers consider sending any team members working on the centers' Quality Award application/criteria to these workshops, which can result in a better application, greater understanding of the foundational elements of quality in your center, and enhanced excitement as your center engages in the program. Learn more here.

AHCA/NCAL Applicant Resources


*AHCA/NCAL now allows nursing centers that are not members of FHCA to participate in the National Quality Award Program. National Silver and Gold Quality Award recipients will receive 5 points for the Quality Add-on under the Prospective Payment System.

AHCA/NCAL Recipient Resources

AHCA/NCAL offers recipient resources by award level, such as logos, planning guides and template press releases. Recipients also may purchase customized Quality Award banners with center names.