Frequently Asked Questions

Who is involved in UDS testing process?

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is the primary Federal agency for improving access to healthcare by strengthening the healthcare workforce, building healthy communities, and achieving health equity. The HRSA Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) funds health centers in underserved communities. As part of HRSA-BPHCs oversight responsibility, health centers must compile and report data relating to operations of the Health Center Program. BPHC utilizes the Uniform Data System (UDS) to collect data from health centers to ensure compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements, improve health center performance and operations, and report on program performance.

 

UDS Test Cooperative (UTC):

The UDS Test Cooperative is a collective of representatives from Health Centers, Primary Care Associations (PCAs), Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs) and Health Vendor Groups, who work together to test and evaluate proposed UDS changes.

 

  • The UTC will be called upon regularly to comment on and help investigate potential improvements to UDS reporting.
  • Members will recruit and participate in rapid, early tests to compare changes, consider alternative approaches, gauge feasibility, and reduce implementation risks.
  • Not all Health Centers or Health Vendor Groups will engage in every testing cycle.  Participation will depend on the type of test, relevancy, resources, and access to data.

 

UTC Steering Committee:

The UTC Steering Committee is comprised of representatives from each of HRSA’s ten regions. UTC Steering Committee members are senior executives of health centers and healthcare networks.

 

Health FFRDC:

The CMS Alliance to Modernize Healthcare (the Health FFRDC) is the first federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) dedicated to protecting and promoting the health and well-being of all Americans. The Health FFRDC is sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and all divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). MITRE, an objective not-for-profit organization, operates the Health FFRDC in partnership with CMS and all HHS agencies to implement innovative ideas to solve our nation’s toughest health problems.

 

Health Centers:

Support the UDS testing process by participating in tests, sharing results, and providing feedback on the recommendations.

 

Partners:

Partners, such as PCAs, HCCNs and NCAs provide feedback on the UDS Modernization and the testing cycle, results, and implications.

What is the UDS Modernization?

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is the primary Federal agency for improving access to healthcare by strengthening the healthcare workforce, building healthy communities, and achieving health equity. The HRSA Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) funds health centers in underserved communities. As part of HRSA-BPHCs oversight responsibility, health centers must compile and report data relating to operations of the Health Center Program. BPHC utilizes the Uniform Data System (UDS) to collect data from health centers to ensure compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements, improve health center performance and operations, and report on program performance.

 

Since 2016, HRSA BPHC has been focused on a systematic modernization of the UDS reporting process.

The intended outcome of the UDS modernization is improved delivery of evidence-based care.

To achieve this outcome, the UDS modernization effort is focused on the following goals.

  • Increase data standardization across health centers to benchmark, trend, and infuse appropriate Federal investments
  • Reduce the data reporting burden on health centers
  • Increase data quality to better gauge disease prevalence, and other outcomes in vulnerable populations

 

HRSA recognizes that stakeholder engagement is instrumental to the success of the UDS Modernization Initiative. HRSA has created more opportunities for Health Centers and other UDS stakeholders to share feedback on UDS Modernization activities.

What is the current status of the UDS Modernization?

Over the past three years, HRSA has made progress on all its modernization goals and objectives. In Modernization Phase 1 and 2, HRSA created enhancements to make UDS reporting easier and less burdensome for Health Center Program awardees and look-alikes. These reporting enhancements:

  • Provide more time to understand annual changes to the UDS content.
  • Make it easier for health centers to submit UDS data.
  • Allow multiple staff to work on the UDS report at the same time.

 

Now in Modernization Phase 3, HRSA is focused on working with partners and stakeholders to implement some of the most foundational changes recommended and explored earlier in the effort.   For current updates please visit the UDS Modernization page.

What is the purpose of UTC?

Engaging the UTC early and often throughout UDS Modernization Phase 3 is essential to the overall success of the effort. The UTC seeks to:   

  • Test the feasibility and impact of proposed changes to UDS systematically prior to a nation-wide roll-out
  • Provide a sustainable, enduring test capability for evidence-based decision making
  • Foster the avoidance of errors, costs, and burden in the long-term
  • Support and enable greater collaboration and transparency among HRSA, its partners, and stakeholders
What are the benefits of participating in UDS Testing?

Test participants will provide important information and feedback that will improve the UDS modernization, ultimately improving reporting accuracy and reducing the reporting burden for Health Centers.  This important modernization will improve how HRSA and Health Center resources are being utilized. 

  • Early preview and deeper knowledge of future changes to UDS
  • Ability to influence changes, early in the process
  • Opportunity to represent the distinguishing features of health centers in UDS reporting
How are test participants selected?

Test criteria will be defined by the Health FFRDC in coordination with HRSA.  Test participants will be recruited from a pool of willing participants based on test criteria.  Test participants establish data, conduct the test, and share results.  The Health FFRDC will analyze and share conclusions with HRSA and test participants. 

Where can I provide feedback or ideas?

Please email udsmodernization@mitre.org to share ideas or for more information.