• House proposes to defund AHRQ, PCORI

    I’m posting this via my cell phone from a train, so forgive the lack of links. Just got word that the House has proposed to defund AHRQ and PCORI. Hit my Twitter feed for links to details (@afrakt).

    My question for readers: what has AHRQ funded that you think makes it worthy of continuing (or not)? Let me hear it in the comments.

    UPDATE: I (Aaron) feel like I should explicitly state my conflict of interest here. I have been funded in the past on grants from AHRQ, and I still am. Of course, I think that work is important, and it pains me to think that support for it, and work like it, might be stripped away. Below are a list of those grants:





    UPDATE 2: My (Austin) AHRQ-funded work has led to two publications (here and here) and one forthcoming (working paper here). Far more importantly, AHRQ funding helps support the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, which runs the New England Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council, of which I am a member. This is terribly important work, the challenges of which I wrote about here.


    • The first two years of my PhD were funded by an AHRQ training grant, and much of my dissertation research on Health IT adoption and the role of cost and comparative effectiveness in the US has been conducted under that funding. It has been a tremendous benefit to be able to conduct that research and further my training with the help of AHRQ. Without it, many students and academics will struggle to find the funding to do important research.

    • This is the only report that I’ve found so far…it appears that it is a draft bill that has not yet left the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations subcommittee and has not been marked up yet.

    • It’s not about the value of AHRQ and PCORI.
      It’s about the fact that AHRQ might reduce the profits of the health care industry by figuring out that some medical test, procedure, etc. was worthless.
      Our political respresentatives have been purchased by the health care industry and they own these representatives. They don’t work for the public, they work for industry.
      Greed is good.
      Health is irrelevant.

    • The various databases that AHRQ has put together under the umbrella of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, the State Inpatient Databases, and others) are invaluable research tools. Their loss would be devastating.

    • Efforts to improve the efficiency of inpatient care.

    • AHRQ PS Net–Amazing resource. Just dive into the collection

      National Guideline Clearinghouse. Unsurpassed.

      The list is endless.

      I would also add Carolyn Clancy, the director ). One smart lady, who was there during Bush, and now during Obama. She gets it. Period.

      A health system landscape without AHRQ is a world I dont want to inhabit.


    • A few more resources AHRQ has funded:




      I could go on and on. AHRQ is important; AHRQ matters.

      They have also published some of our team’s work as seen here:

      Agencies like AHRQ must continue to exist. I hope politics does not interfere with their good work.

    • Every major health policy microsimulation model utilizes the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) in some way. The MEPS is the only nationally representative source of data on expenditures and medical care utilization. If AHRQ were to be de-funded, this valuable resource would also likely be lost.

    • AHRQ is probably the most important funder of doctoral and postdoctoral training in health services research. They currently fund 28 training programs across the nation. Take away these training programs, and the quantity and quality of future researchers in the field will fall dramatically.