May 14, 1982

PSRO: The Promise, Perspective, and Potential

Author Affiliations

School of Public Health University of North Carolina Chapel Hill


edited by John W. Bussman and Sharon V. Davidson, 400 pp, with illus, $29.95, Reading, Mass, Addison-Wesley Publishing Co Inc, 1981.

JAMA. 1982;247(18):2597. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320430093048

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The Professional Standards Review Organizations (PSROs), regardless of their tenuous current or future status, are unique experiments in partnership between physicians and the federal government. Federal financing of groups of professionals to permit them to conduct programs on self-regulation of hospital utilization and quality of hospital services is an unparalleled concept. Although the PSRO concept and the evolution of the program offer rich opportunities to explore the dynamics of a governmental partnership with practicing physicians, this book is of value primarily for its historical perspective on the range of PSRO activities during the late 1970s.

Bussman and Davidson have managed to gather an extremely knowledgeable group of contributors, each of whom is able to describe in detail aspects of the history of the PSRO program, the function of the PSROs, and the potential future for expansion of the PSRO concept. Unfortunately, however, the book was badly outdated from the moment