AHCA/NCAL Quality Awards Program

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 MHCA. 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 are strictly confidential between your center and AHCA/NCAL.

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

Bronze - Commitment to Quality: 84, including St. André Health Care Facility, the 2023 Maine Bronze Recipient. 
Silver - Achievement in Quality: 22
Gold - Excellence in Quality: 3  

The time to apply for the 2024 AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award program is NOW. Applications and information are available here

Join MHCA for special Quality Award Educational Training at the October 2023 Fall Health Care Conference & Expo. 

MHCA is here to assist you in your Quality Award Journey!

Based on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework, the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award recognizes long term and post-acute care member centers and communities for quality care.
Participating in the Quality Award Program has many benefits:
  • The program provides a proven framework that organizations can use to make improvements in any clinical, quality or other operational issues (i.e. staff engagement, customer satisfaction, hospital readmissions).
  • It helps prepare 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 national recognition.
  • It serves as a marketing resource for consumers, referral sources and other key stakeholders.
  • Participants receive customized feedback with their top strengths and improvement areas.
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 apply by the 2017 deadline, the center will become a past recipient and must restart from the Bronze Award level.

Quality Award Support Calls

MHCA annually provides remote weekly support calls for any facility across the state interested in or pursuing the AHCA/NCAL Bronze, Silver and Gold National Quality Awards. These support calls are led by MHCA's Maureen Carland, an AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Senior Examiner. MHCA suggests centers consider participating on these calls, 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.

AHCA/NCAL Applicant Resources

Bronze Applicants: Bronze Award Resource Page
Silver Applicants: Silver Award Resource Page
Gold Applicants: Gold Award Resource Page

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.

Staff Contact:
Maureen Carland
Director of Quality Improvement &
Regulatory Affairs