Kavita Patel (@kavitapmd) is a fellow in the Economic Studies program at The Brookings Institution and managing director for clinical transformation and delivery at the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform. She is also a practicing primary care internist at Johns Hopkins Medicine and served in the Obama administration as director of policy for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement in the White House. In response to my post on the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), she (and others) referred me the Institute’s How We’re Funded page, which clarifies some of my questions. In her email, she added,
In creating PCORI, Congress made it clear that it was not abandoning the significant CER [comparative effectiveness research] investments made at AHRQ [the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality]. AHRQ was given a permanent seat on the PCORI Board and was charged with the responsibility for building capacity for CER by establishing a grant program to train researchers in CER methods. (42 USC § 299b–37) Most importantly, the legislation provides that AHRQ in consultation with NIH [the National Institutes of Health]:
…shall broadly disseminate the research findings that are published by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute established under section 1181(b) of the Social Security Act (referred to in this section as the ‘Institute’) and other government-funded research relevant to comparative clinical effectiveness research. The Office shall create informational tools that organize and disseminate research findings for physicians, health care providers, patients, payers, and policy makers. The Office shall also develop a publicly available resource database that collects and contains government-funded evidence and research from public, private, not-for profit, and academic sources. (From section 6301)
In order to carry out these ongoing responsibilities as a CER clearinghouse, 20% of the funding for PCORI was allocated to AHRQ. (26 USC §9511) So yes a very direct and mandated relationship. [Apart from typo corrections, this is a direct copy and past from Kavita's email.]
The HealthReformGPS post I had quoted still says that 80% of the funding was allocated to AHRQ. That seems like an error. I alerted them to that issue, among others. My comment hasn’t yet appeared on their site. I like HealthReformGPS, and I only want it to be better.