Compass Hospital Quality Improvement Contract (HQIC)

The Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC) and partner organizations, collectively known as the Compass Network, are pleased to share that we have been announced as one of nine Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) HQIC awardees. The Compass HQIC led by IHC and partner organizations, South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations, Kansas Healthcare Collaborative and Mississippi Hospital Association supports 250-300 rural and low performing hospitals throughout the network. The goals of the program are to improve behavioral health outcomes, decrease opioid misuse, improve patient safety, reduce harm, improve the quality of care transitions and reduce readmissions.

This program is the fourth CMS led hospital quality improvement program since 2012. IHC and its partner organizations led hospitals through the CMS Hospital Engagement Network (HEN 1.0 and 2.0) and most recently the CMS Hospital Improvement and Innovation Network (HIIN), supporting hospital efforts to increase patient safety and improve quality of care. With progressive engagement and increasing momentum the Compass HQIC network has achieved extraordinary results. These results are reflected in the 2020 Hospital Impact Report (PDF).

Core Topics

  • Adverse drug events (opioid safety, anticoagulation safety and glycemic management)
  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections
  • Central line-associated bloodstream infections
  • Clostridioides difficile
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Readmissions
  • Sepsis and septic shock

Additional Areas of Focus

  • Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales
  • Falls
  • Obstetrical adverse events
  • Surgical site infections
  • Venous thromboembolism
  • Ventilator-associated events

Cross-Cutting Priorities

  • Health equity
  • Patient and family engagement
  • Telehealth

Guiding Themes

Patient Centered - Conduct network activities in a manner that is respectful of, and responsive to, patient preferences, needs and values.

High Reliability and Culture of Safety - Provide practical and effective tools to promote high reliability practices that produce consistent excellence in quality and safety across the healthcare continuum.

Strategic Partnerships and Collaboration - Seek out and lead partnerships that draw on various strengths to enable aligned and efficient synergies that maximize value to hospitals.

Partnering Beyond the Quality Team - Engage hospital leadership, physicians, patients and families, and multidisciplinary team members to maximize benefit to both the hospital and the patients they serve.

Compass HQIC Network Map


Hospitals participating in the Compass HQIC network will gain access to materials, educational opportunities and important news updates through a variety of outlets including:

  • Compass Portal for reporting and on-demand quality reports
  • Focus area specific reports (e.g., Readmissions) using administrative claims data
  • Compass newsletters
  • iCompass
  • iCompass Academy
  • Education and training opportunities
  • Evidence-based tools and resources
  • Access to quality and performance projects and initiatives

Who Can Join?

Eligibility for this program has been pre-determined by CMS. Selection was based on one or more of the qualifying criteria:

  • Rural
  • Critical access
  • Serve vulnerable population
  • Hospitals classified as consistently having a 2-star rating or lower (FY 2017- FY2020)

All eligible hospitals from Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas and Mississippi are invited to enroll with the Compass network through March 17, 2021 when the enrollment period ends. All eligible hospitals have received an invitation letter from IHC and their state organization.

What if My Hospital is Not Eligible?

Network leadership is committed to ensuring all hospitals, regardless of eligibility, have access to resources they need to support their continued quality and safety efforts. Interested in learning more? Please reach out to your state’s contact.


Contact your state's program lead with any questions.


Iowa Healthcare Collaborative Charisse Coulombe, Director of Quality Initiatives
South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations Becky Heisinger, Director of Quality Integration
Kansas Healthcare Collaborative

Mandy Johnson, Program Director of Quality Initiatives

Mississippi Hospital Association -Foundation LaNelle Weems, Director, MS Center for Quality and Workforce