August 31,2006

Chairman Grassley Comments on Medicare Response to Report on Program to Improve Quality of Services for Medicare Beneficiaries


TO: Reporters and Editors
FR: Jill Kozeny, 202/224-1308 for Chairman Grassley
RE: CMS Response to IOM Report on QIO Program
DA: Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sen. Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Committee on Finance, issued the following
comment regarding the report released this afternoon by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services. The report responded to a study by the Institute of Medicine on improving the Medicare
Quality Improvement Organization program.

“I appreciate that Medicare officials met their obligation to deliver this report. The
agency’s perspective needs to be part of discussions about the future of this program.

“Those discussions also need to address whether the current design of the program is
even capable of improving the quality of Medicare services. And, they need to address the
controversial activities of some Quality Improvement Organizations. News reports have
documented abusive spending and examples of Medicare resources being wasted. The Inspector
General is conducting a necessary audit of those allegations.

“Improving the quality of health care services provided to Medicare beneficiaries is an
important job. The question is, are Quality Improvement Organizations about make-work, or can
they make a difference?”