AHQA to restructure, will lay off two of three staffers
The American Health Quality Association, a group representing 38 state and regional quality improvement organizations, or QIOs, will be restructured and two of its three staffers will be laid off in February, AHQA Executive Vice President David Schulke said. “The board has been consulting with AHQA members,” Schulke said. “They’re looking for a way to have a less-expensive organization.” Both Schulke and Michele Johnson, the AHQA’s vice president of government affairs, will be let go sometime next month, with Bruce Ehrle, senior director of government affairs and executive operations, staying on “probably through the fall,” Schulke said. QIOs, which contract with the CMS to help poorperforming hospitals address quality-ofcare problems before they result in regulatory fines and penalties, have been operating under a three-year contract with CMS (Aug. 25, 2008, p. 18) that runs through July 2011 and which is $150 million less than their previous contract, a drop of 28%. The organization moved into a smaller office in December 2009 and is having difficulty with its telephones, Schulke said, which has led some to believe that the organization had closed.