Partners & Stakeholders

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is the agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) responsible for administering and charting the direction of the QIO Program. CMS contracts with regional organizations (Quality Improvement Network – or QIN – QIOs) that provide locally focused quality improvement assistance to health care providers in every state and territory. CMS also contracts with regional Beneficiary and Family Centered Care (BFCC) QIOs to manage all beneficiary complaints, quality of care reviews, and other types of case reviews to ensure consistency in the review process while taking into consideration local factors that are important to beneficiaries and their families.

AHQA and member QIOs work in close collaboration with CMS to help ensure that the work that QIOs do is effective and aligns with national goals for health care quality improvement, including the National Quality Strategy and efforts to reduce hospital-acquired infections, avoidable readmissions, and deaths from heart attack and stroke.

Read more about the QIO Program on and access the latest edition of CMS' QIO News here.

The Million Hearts® initiative

In September 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched a historic private-public initiative, Million Hearts®, aimed at preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. To help achieve these goals, QIOs are working with local providers, community groups, and stakeholder organizations to share best practices for treatment and prevention of heart disease, including through learning and action networks (LANs)—a quality improvement strategy that facilitates rapid, large-scale improvements in care across organizational, cultural, and geographic boundaries.

Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes campaign

Through participation both  nationally  and at the local level, AHQA and the QIOs support Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes, an initiative to make nursing homes better places to live, work, and visit. QIOs serve as coordinators of local Advancing Excellence activities, and incorporate the initiative’s resources into their work with nursing homes. Tools and resources to support improvement on nine organizational and clinical topics can be found on the Advancing Excellence website.

Care About Your Care

AHQA is proud to be a partner in “Care About Your Care,” a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative that in 2013 is focusing on improving care transitions to reduce avoidable readmissions.

Across the country, as many as one in five older adults return to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged—costing the Medicare program billions of dollars each year. These readmissions are not just a hospital problem or a patient problem—they are a community problem, requiring all sectors of the community to work together to ensure that these transitions from the hospital to home or other facility are more effective.

QIOs share information about best practices with physicians, hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and others, and work with health care providers to identify opportunities and provide assistance for improvement. Learn more about QIOs work to reduce readmissions.

Watch the February 13 Care About Your Care webcast, which includes an update from AHQA's Director of Communications & Policy on QIO work to improve care transitions during the Q&A portion of the webcast.