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Capitol Health Call
April 12, 2006

Quality Improvement Questioned

JAMA. 2006;295(14):1635. doi:10.1001/jama.295.14.1635-a

Citing a seeming lack of effectiveness and accountability by quality improvement organizations (QIOs) hired to investigate individual Medicare beneficiary complaints, Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is asking administration officials to consider changing how these companies are paid to ensure that higher priority is given to activities that address patient complaints and improve quality of care.

In a March 3 letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Grassley noted his committee's investigation into the Medicare QIO program that began in August of 2005 found questionable expenditures, potential conflicts of interest, and a lack of effectiveness.