Periodically, I like to mention acronyms that may be unfamiliar to most physicians.
Are you familiar with NAIRO?
The National Association of Independent Review Organizations (NAIRO) was formed by the majority of URAC-accredited independent review organizations (IRO). The need for uniform regulations from state to state and a uniform application process is what brought NAIRO together. The primary objective of NAIRO is to simplify the regulated independent review organization application process and independent medical peer review requirements among the states.
NAIRO is dedicated to protecting the integrity of the independent medical peer review processes. Utilizing the expertise of hundreds of board-certified clinicians throughout the country, NAIRO members embrace an evidence-based approach to independent medical peer review, in order to resolve coverage disputes between enrollees and their health plans.
What is an IRO?
Within the health care industry, an IRO acts as a third-party medical review resource which provides objective, unbiased medical opinions that support effective decision making, based only on medical evidence. IROs deliver conflict-free decisions that help clinical and claims management professionals better allocate healthcare resources and reduce waste.
What is Independent Review?
Peer review, independent medical review, hospital peer review, and medical peer review, have all become interchangeable terms in the healthcare industry. As is often the case, different organizations and individuals use their own vocabulary when talking about the same thing. As a general rule, the term “Peer Review” has become a simplified substitute for all the phrases listed above. Whatever you prefer to call it, the core function is to utilize the objective opinions of physicians who are not a party to a particular treatment, to approve or deny medical claims based on medical evidence and following accepted standards of care. These physicians must be board-certified and in active practice.
Independent review typically (but not always) occurs after all appeals mechanisms available within a health benefits plan have been exhausted. Independent review can be voluntary or mandated by law.
You can learn more about NAIRO here: http://nairo.org