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October 26, 2005

Quality Improvement Organizations and Hospital Care

JAMA. 2005;294(16):2028-2030. doi:10.1001/jama.294.16.2028-b

To the Editor: During the fourth and fifth Medicare QIO contract cycles, we conducted a cohort study with 36 small and predominantly rural hospitals, focusing on the quality of care for Medicare patients admitted to the hospital with pneumonia.1 The purpose of our study was to determine if a project implemented by a QIO would lead to improved care that could not be accounted for by secular trends in the management of pneumonia. We demonstrated that there were statistically significant improvements in measures of process of care for pneumonia in the intervention hospitals corresponding to the time period of QIO assistance, and that these same measures did not change significantly in control hospitals until they crossed over to the intervention arm of our study.1