Medicare launches latest step in quality improvement movement

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Medicare recently launched a "billion dollar program," the latest move in the quality improvement effort. It is expected to help providers assess and report performance on measures of clinical quality and improve their performance.

The "8th Statement of Work for the Quality Improvement Organizations," will focus on reporting, improving and rewarding quality, according to Mark McClellan, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

CMS released a request for proposals that asks organizations to bid for the three-year contracts that support the 8th Statement of Work. The quality improvement effort will focus on four settings: nursing homes, home health agencies, hospitals and physician offices.

Among other goals, the effort seeks to support providers in improving clinical performance measures for pressure ulcers, physical restraints and management of depression in nursing homes.