U.S. Rep. Tom Price, M.D. (R-Ga) reintroduced the Quality Improvement Organization Program Restoration Act, or H.R. 805, in the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday.
H.R. 805 would repeal a section of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act of 2011 relating to contracts with Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO).
The QIOs are non-profit organizations which oversee the quality of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries.
The QIO Program Restoration Act would ease off some restrictions that were imposed on them in the Trade Act.
Price’s press release lists the following four benefits of H.R. 805:
• Restore a requirement for state-based QIO contracts instead of giving the Secretary of Health and Human Services the opportunity to regionalize or nationalize QIOs.
• Maintain local control and relationships within each state’s health care community.
• Continue the long-standing requirement for local physician involvement in peer review.
• Avoid a fragmentation of QIO functions by requiring an integrated, collaborative approach among health care stakeholders to ensure continuum of quality care.
“As a physician, I understand how absolutely vital it is to maintain patient and doctor control over health care decisions. The actions that have been taken to restructure quality improvement organizations will do harm to the QIO program and ultimately threaten the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries, other patients, families, and physicians,” Congressman Price said. “Patients and physicians understand and appreciate the dangers associated with granting greater health care authority to Washington – particularly when done at the expense of the knowledge and expertise of local physicians and health care providers. Our legislation is critical to restoring and maintaining local input into improving health care quality. It will empower patients and their doctors to make the best decisions.”
The same legislation was introduced in 2012 to no avail.
Click here to view Rep. Price's press release about the legislation.