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March 1985

Some Cons of PROs

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC

Arch Ophthalmol. 1985;103(3):343-345. doi:10.1001/archopht.1985.01050030039015

It is amazing how quickly federal health care policy can come full circle. Just 3½ years ago, the Reagan administration vehemently opposed the very existence of the federal medical review program, which was then called the Professional Standards Peer Review Organization (PSRO) program. Now, virtually the same program, under the new name of the Utilization and Quality Control Peer Review Organization, or the PRO program, is the "darling" of the federal budget cutters. The deregulation rhetoric that was in vogue at the beginning of the first term fell by the wayside when the administration perceived that PROs offered a mechanism to reduce substantially federal health care expenditures through administrative fiat. In 1984, while Congress was hotly debating whether the annual increase in prospective payments for hospitals under the diagnosis-related groups (DRGs) payment system should be limited to the inflation rate or the inflation rate plus 0.25%, the Health Care Financing