Handbook of Quality Assurance in Mental Health Alex R. Rodriguez Editor
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professional-standards-review organizations (PSRO) in defining quality of care for the Medicare program; it is a shared responsibility of health professionals and government to provide a reasonable basis for confidence that action will be taken, both to assess whether services meet professionally recognized standards and to correct any deficiencies that may be found (p. 14). Similar pronouncements have been made for the quality assurance activities of the Department of Defense's CHAMPUS program and of the 1980s successor to the PSROs, the federally designated peer-review organizations (PROs), established to ensure quality and utilization-efficient care for Medicare. Links between the federal and state gov­ ernments and between professional associations and private review entities have been developed to make this shared responsibility manifest in the delivery and reimbursement of health services. This responsibility is seen in light of both pro­ fessional and legal accountability, a view noted by Gibson and Singhas (1978) and Alger (1980). Accountability, then, becomes a concentric concept that elaborates on the pure view of quality and reflects the federal government's consumer protection activities during the 1970s. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAH), which has pro­ vided another primary historical leadership role in defining quality assurance, has promoted the evolution of the concept of resource limitations as a part of the defini­ tion of quality assurance.

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