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Created as a watchdog agency for the state's Medicare program, Rhode Island Quality Partners serves today as a foundation for collaboration among local health care providers.
One of more than 35 Quality Improvement Organizations nationwide, RIQP is financed through a contract with the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) the parent company of Medicare. Its mission is to work in partnership with local hospitals, physicians and other members of the health care community to make "good care even better" for Medicare recipients -- 85 percent of whom are over the age of 65.
"In the bad old days, watching meant following up on a death," said Dr. Edward Westrick, RIQP'S chief medical officer. "In 1990 the Institute of Medicine determined that the health care …