- QIOs are apparently still tasked with collecting and addressing patient complaints. However, their current role is mainly to work collaboratively with physicians and hospitals on quality improvement projects. They have been accused of being slow and unresponsive in the face of such complaints, and the number of complaints seems inconsistent state to state. Although they have the power to sanction doctors and hospitals, they rarely do so. The boards of QIOs are made up almost entirely of physicians, but rarely include more than one consumer advocate per state.
- Given that QIOs are tasked to do quality improvement projects, old rules that mandate a high level of secrecy about their work no longer clearly make sense. "These rules even prohibit them from publicly naming the hospitals they work with unless the facilities agree." Why "few do" is unclear. Specific QIOs said "the names and outcomes of their projects are private under their contract with Medicare."
Although the issues here don't seem as severe as many discussed on Health Care Renewal, many QIOs no longer seem organized to optimally address their mission.