Iowa Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Quality Improvement Program

MBQIP is a quality improvement activity under the Flex program of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP). The goal of MBQIP is to improve the quality of care provided in critical access hospitals (CAHs), by increasing quality data reporting by CAHs and then driving quality improvement activities based on the data. This project provides an opportunity for individual hospitals to look at their data, measure their outcomes against other CAHs, and partner with other hospitals in the state around quality improvement initiatives to improve outcomes and provide the highest quality care to each and every one of their patients.

Flex Program Components

Quality Improvement

The quality improvement area includes MBQIP data. Submitting MBQIP data is the only requirement for CAHs to participate in the Flex Program. If CAHs meet the MBQIP reporting requirements they are automatically able to participate in Flex Program activities. IHC sends MBQIP reports to hospitals and provides technical assistance, webinars, calls and live events related to quality improvement.

Core Measure Focus Areas

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

Financial Improvement

HomeTown Health (Link) provides financial improvement webinars, triage resources, live meetings, comparative dashboards, in-depth assessments and action planning and peer assistance.

Operational Improvement

HomeTown Health provides operational improvement webinars, live meetings, comparative dashboards, in-depth assessments and action planning and peer assistance.

Population Health

IHC provides community health needs assessment technical assistance webinars. The State of Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (Iowa HHS) provides individual technical assistance with community health needs assessments and health improvement plans.

To learn more about how these various organizations work together to support hospitals through the Flex program refer to the Flex Program Crosswalk (PDF).

Data Reporting

Enrolled hospitals submit Emergency Department Transfer Communication (EDTC) data to IHC via the Compass Portal (Link). IHC provides participating hospital with quarterly hospital level performance reports to assist them in monitoring performance across measures.


Participating hospitals have access to resources, education and trainings such as:


Connect with Iowa Healthcare Collaborative's director of hospital quality initiatives, Charisse Coulombe at (e-mail).