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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Senator raises questions about the quality of Quality Improvement Organizations ( QIOs)

Probably most people and likely many physicians have never even heard of QICs. Here is their website where we learn that the QIC program is directed by CMS and consists of 53 QICs who are tasked "to make sure patients get the right care at the right time."

Senator Chuck Grassley is asking for changes in this program because- according to a recent news blurb in the Capital Health Call section in JAMA of "questionable expeditures,potential conflicts of interests and lack of effectiveness." He raises questions about the quality of the program purported to ensure quality of medical care.

The American Health Quality Association, which is described as a QIC trade organization seems to admit that the program need changes-probably they would favor more funding- but blames the problems on poorly written laws.

Purportedly, there was a need for these QICs because physicians left to their own devices would not deliver "quality care", so it would seem reasonable that what we need now is another layer of quardians who can watch over and insure the quality of the organizations that were to insure the quality of care., but ,of course, they will have to be audited.

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