More Providers Obligated to Tell Patients About Quality Organizations

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has proposed a new rule that would require an expanded class of providers and suppliers of Medicare services to alert beneficiaries to the existence of quality improvement organizations (QIOs). Previously, only hospitals and select others had been obligated to do so.

Under the new rule, nursing homes, therapy providers, outpatient centers and many others would have to give written information to beneficiaries about how to contact state quality improvement organizations in the event of poor quality of care.ξ

CMS contracts with one organization in each state, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to serve as that state/jurisdiction’s Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) contractor. QIOs are private, mostly not-for-profit organizations, which are staffed by professionals, mostly doctors and other health care professionals, who are trained to review medical care and help beneficiaries with complaints about the quality of care and to implement improvements in the quality of care available throughout the spectrum of care.Œæ Œæ

CMS is accepting comments on the proposal until April 3 and said it äóìwill respond to comments in a final rule to be issued in the coming months.äó

From a consumers standpoint it would not hurt to know who these quality agencies are. Check them out here.