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With Cuts Looming, QIOs Find Abundant Support

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, August 14, 2013

The American Medical Association, a number of other national provider associations, and 47 state medical societies are urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to preserve federal funding for state-based quality improvement organizations.

Some of the nation's largest provider associations are asking the federal government to spare state-based quality improvement organizations from proposed funding cuts or significant reorganizations.

The American Medical Association, the National Rural Health Association, the American Health Care Association, and the American Health Quality Association have sent letters to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to call for maintaining its long-standing support of QIOs, which since 1984 have collaborated with physicians, hospitals and other providers to coordinate care for Medicare patients at hospitals, physicians' offices, long-term and post-acute care facilities, health clinics, and at home.

The AMA also circulated a sign-on letter to 47 state medical societies, all of whom said they opposed any cuts to QIOs.

CMS in May made a request for public comment on proposals to cut funding to many state-based QIOs and fund a few regional QIOs instead. "The need for QIOs has evolved from utilization review alone to convening complex local communities that can span state boundaries, particularly as health delivery systems become more horizontally and vertically integrated and new alliances form," CMS said in its request-for-comment letter.

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