Archive for the ‘Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality’ Category

Speak Out for Research Funding Now

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Recess Offers Ideal Advocacy Opportunity

Urge your members of Congress to support robust funding for NIH, CDC, AHRQ and NSF in FY 2010. This Independence Day recess offers an ideal opportunity to speak with your representative and senators and let them know that investing in research is critical to the health of Americans and the economy.

Meet with, call or write to your delegation in support of a funding increase of at least 10% for NIH in FY 2010 with the goal of reaching an annual appropriation of $40 billion as soon as possible. Other essential investments for research to improve health are increasing CDC’s core program budget by $2 billion, establishing a base funding level of $405 million for AHRQ and increasing the NSF budget by 8.5% to $7 billion.

Time is of the essence because the House of Representatives will begin consideration of the appropriations bill for NIH, CDC and AHRQ on July 8. Take action now!

AHRQ Director Carolyn Clancy, MD, Honored

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Carolyn Clancy, MD, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, has been honored as the 2009 recipient of the William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research. She is being honored for her lifelong achievements and contributions to the field of health services research.

Dr. Clancy will receive the award on June 29 at the Association of University Programs in Health Administration’s annual meeting in Chicago. AUPHA administers the award, which is funded by The Baxter International Foundation.

From the press release announcing Dr. Clancy’s award:

“The Graham Prize Selection Committee, composed of former Prize winners and distinguished health services researchers, admire Dr. Clancy for her passionate commitment to health services research that addresses the most critical needs in healthcare, including quality, safety, and the elimination of disparities in access,” said Kyle Grazier, DrPH, University of Michigan professor, and chair of the Graham Prize Selection Committee. “Her individual work, combined with her profound contributions to the development and leadership of AHRQ, made a compelling case for the Committee.”

“I am honored and thrilled to receive this award,” said Dr. Clancy. “I’m privileged to work with such terrific colleagues, especially at a time when the field of health services research is showing so clearly that evidence-based information will be critical to reforming healthcare here in the United States.”

Congratulations to Dr. Clancy on this well deserved recognition.

President’s FY2010 Budget: Research!America Disappointed in Research Funding Levels

Friday, May 8th, 2009

WASHINGTON—May 8, 2009—Research!America expressed concern over research funding in the FY2010 budget proposal that the President released yesterday. The proposal includes just a 1.4% increase for the National Institutes of Health over FY2009, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality are essentially flat-funded. The National Science Foundation fared better, with a nearly 8% proposed increase.

Research!America’s chair, The Honorable John Edward Porter, said, “While we are disappointed in these numbers and had hoped for far better, we will work with Congress to improve them and look forward to stronger budgets in the future.”

Read the rest of the release.

AHRQ and Ad Council Encourage Consumers To Ask Questions and Get More Involved in Their Health Care

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Questions Are the Answers, an AHRQ campaign that began in 2007, is being promoted in conjunction with the Ad Council through a series of PSAs.

People can improve their care and the care of their loved ones by taking an active role in that health care. Ask questions. Understand the condition. Evaluate the options.

AHRQ Director Carolyn Clancy and actress and advocate Fran Drescher appear in the PSAs, which can be previewed online.

Congress Finalizes FY09 Research Funding

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Yesterday the Senate approved the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (H.R. 1105), finalizing funding levels for the fiscal year that began on October 1, 2008. Increases for research to improve health are as follows:

• National Institutes of Health – $30.3 billion, a 3.2% increase
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – $6.6 billion, a 3.7% increase
• Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality – $372 million, an 11.3% increase
• National Science Foundation – $6.5 billion, a 5.9% increase

The FY 2010 budget and appropriations process is already underway. Advocacy and action will be critical to ensuring robust funding for research to improve health in FY 2010.

Billions for Research in Recovery Package

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Thank Congress and the President

Yesterday, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law. NIH, AHRQ, NSF and a new prevention and wellness fund will see substantial funding increases thanks to strong support from advocates like you and congressional champions. Sen. Arlen Specter, who led the effort to include $10 billion for NIH, acknowledges the critical role that thousands of advocates for research played to help secure this funding. Take the time now to thank your Representative and Senators and President Obama for approving increases for NIH, AHRQ, NSF and prevention and wellness in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The funding in the recovery package is as follows:
• NIH – $10 billion, including $7.4 billion for distribution to the institutes and centers, $1.3 billion for extramural construction and equipment, $800 million for the Office of the Director for trans-NIH initiatives, and $500 million for improvements to the NIH campus
• AHRQ – $1.1 billion for comparative effectiveness research
• NSF – $3 billion, including $2.5 billion for research, $400 million for construction and equipment, and $100 million for education and human resources
• Prevention and wellness fund – $1 billion, of which some portion will be allocated to CDC

The tremendous surge of support from health and research advocates made these increases possible. Let’s keep the momentum going as we anticipate action on FY09 and FY10 appropriations!

Push for $17.6 B for Research—$10 B for NIH—in the Recovery Bill Contact Congress Now

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Urge your congressional delegation to support $17.6 billion for research to improve health in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Science and health are clearly important to the 111th Congress. Your voice is needed to support their efforts. Senator Arlen Specter is urging the Senate to include $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health over the next two years in the economic recovery legislation. Other priorities for research to improve health include $3 billion for the National Science Foundation, $3.5 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and $1.1 billion for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

President Barack Obama has called for “investing in the science, research, and technology that will lead to new medical breakthroughs, new discoveries, and entire new industries.” Seize this opportunity to advocate for increased funding for research to improve health. Take action now!

Put Health Research on the 111th Congress’ Agenda

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

Investing in Science and Research Essential to Economic Recovery

A new Congress means new opportunities to increase funding for research to improve health. Contact your representative and senators on this first day of the 111th Congress, and let them know that health research must be a priority this session.

The new Congress will get right to work on the economic recovery package. Urge your representative and senators to support $11.1 billion for research in the legislation. Research!America recommended the following levels to the Obama-Biden Transition Team and congressional leaders:

• NIH – $8.6 billion (FY08 budget = $29.2 billion)
• NSF – $1.4 billion (FY08 budget = $6.1 billon)
• CDC – $1.0 billion (FY08 budget = $6.4 billion)
• AHRQ – $97 million (FY08 budget = $335 million)

An infusion of $11.1 billion for NIH, NSF, CDC and AHRQ in the economic recovery legislation will produce immediate and long term dividends that protect good jobs, stimulate local economies across the nation, provide data to help make health care reform evidence-based and expand the research that is the foundation for innovation and global competitiveness. Take action now!

Speak Out for Research in Economic Recovery Package

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Increase Funding for NIH, NSF, CDC and AHRQ

President-elect Barack Obama and congressional leaders are working on economic recovery legislation that will hopefully be ready by Inauguration Day. Some health measures are expected in the bill, and now is the time to make sure that research is part of the package.

Today, Research!America sent letters to the Obama-Biden transition team and congressional leaders urging them to include $11.1 billion for research in the economic recovery package. The recommendations for each agency are as follows:

• NIH – $8.6 billion (FY08 budget = $29.2 billion)
• NSF – $1.4 billion (FY08 budget = $6.1 billon)
• CDC – $1.0 billion (FY08 budget = $6.4 billion)
• AHRQ – $97 million (FY08 budget = $335 million)

Let the Obama-Biden transition team know that your vision for the country includes expanding the U.S. investment in research to improve health. An infusion of $11.1 billion for NIH, NSF, CDC and AHRQ in the economic recovery legislation will produce immediate and long term dividends that protect good jobs, stimulate local economies across the nation, provide data to help make health care reform evidence-based and expand the research that is the foundation for innovation and global competitiveness.

The Web site http://change.gov provides many ways to offer input to the Obama-Biden transition team and is constantly changing. We have suggested using the “Share Your Vision” function, which is currently accessible, but make your voice heard about the importance of research in the economic recovery package using the best method available.

Health Research Funded at FY08 Levels Through March

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Your Candidates-Your Health Provides Insight for FY09

Although FY09 starts today, the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will be funded at their current levels through March 6.

President Bush signed the “Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act” (H.R. 2638) yesterday. The bill includes FY09 appropriations for the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs and extends funding for all other programs at 2008 levels through March 6.

The length of the continuing resolution means that the next President and Congress will determine FY 2009 funding levels. Leaders in Congress are hopeful that the next president will approve increased funding for domestic priorities, such as research to improve health, that President Bush had threatened to veto. Make sure you know where your candidates for Congress and President stand by visiting www.yourcandidatesyourhealth.org.

Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus briefing: Checklists and Their Impact on Medical Care

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

This week at a Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus briefing, Peter Pronovost, MD, a recent recipient of the MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, presented on his work on patient safety involving checklists.

Pronovost had found that there was little knowledge about risks to patient safety, such as the original subject of his work, infections at the site of catheter insertion. While there was significant evidence behind the cause and prevention of these infections, they were still causing deaths and costing states millions of dollars each year.

Pronovost’s solution was to condense the evidence into a five-item checklist, lowering the barriers to use at the patient’s bedside. When doctors and nurses used and held each other accountable to this checklist, these infections were virtually eliminated in a study at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Next, Pronovost used an AHRQ grant to roll out the checklist system in the state of Michigan. After tracking the rates of infection, it was found that over two years, implementation of the checklist saved Michigan 1,800 deaths and $200 milion per year by eliminating the infections.

After this enormous success, Pronovost has faced challenges “bridging the gap” between his work in Michigan and federal coordination of these efforts. Pronovost made the point that translational research is inefficient because basic scientific research is a “feed forward” system. Implementing research into practice, on the other hand, is a “feed back” system. Pronovost proposed the creation of what he called a “knowledge market”, in which knowledge is shared and democratic. The use of these checklists achieves this democratization because everyone can understand and implement each of the five items to achieve safe care for patients.

The Hon. Rush Holt, chair of the Biomedical Research Caucus, was in attendance, and called for more funding for research. “Research can take all forms,” he said. “Funding research is not about funding people in lab coats. It’s about improving quality of life and saving lives.”

–Allison Bland

Congress Returns to Work on Research Funding

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Contact Your Delegation Now

Congress returns this week from recess and will work to extend 2008 funding, including research budgets for the NIH, CDC and AHRQ. It is essential to speak out now in favor of increased funding for research to improve health.

Congress will not pass individual FY09 appropriations bills by the end of FY08 on September 30 and must approve a Continuing Resolution to keep the government running into FY09. Contact your Senators and Representatives now to urge them to do all they can to increase funds for research to improve health in the CR. Take action now!

Congress Recommends Increasing Research Funding in 2009

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Tell Your Elected Officials that Health and Science are Priorities

Congress is recommending spending bills for FY09 that include critical increases for research funding. Take action now and urge your elected officials to support research to improve health!

The House LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee is recommending increased budgets for the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Science Foundation and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in FY09. The Senate Appropriations Committee is proposing similar increases for NIH, CDC and NSF, but no increase for AHRQ.

Now it’s time for you to take action. Contact your Representative and Senators immediately and urge them to support increases in health research funding.

NIH, CDC, NSF and AHRQ Funding by State, 2007

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

The Research Funding by State map has been updated with FY07 numbers.

The funds disbursed to the 50 states and the District of Columbia by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Science Foundation and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality are a vital component of the U.S investment in health-related research. See how each state ranks in funding from these four federal agencies in comparison to the size of the population.

Advocacy Opportunity: Sign-on Letter for Labor,Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations

Monday, May 12th, 2008

The Coalition for Health Funding and the Coalition for Education Funding are inviting organizations to sign-on to a letter in support of a minimum $15 billion increase over FY08 for the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (L-HHS-Ed) Appropriations Subcommittees. Research!America has signed-on to this letter to Appropriations Chairs David Obey (WI) and Robert Byrd (WV) and we encourage your organization to do the same.

Ensuring that the overall L-HHS-Ed allocation is as high as possible will allow for increases in FY 2009 funding for the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

To read the letter and to sign on, please go to www.sign-chf.org. The deadline to sign on is Monday, May 19

States of the States

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Last week’s successful Research!America forum on “Research for Health in 2008: Valuing Evidence and Enhancing Impact” focused on using knowledge gained from research to repair, or even rebuild, a health care system that by most accounts is failing the American people

In our federal system, health — like politics — is largely local, and local officials should be held accountable by patients and voters. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality today published a state-by-state “snapshot” of areas where improvement is needed. This year’s report includes each state’s rate of obesity, health insurance coverage, mental illness and the number of physician specialists.

Research!America has a state-by-state measurement of the economic impact of health research. Both of these sites are worth a look for those who wish to think globally and act locally.

Paying More and Benefiting Less

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

The New York Times’ Robert Pear delivered a cogent analysis of the financial future of Medicare yesterday, including an intriguing guesstimate from a prominent health economist, Harvard’s David M. Cutler. He says it would be possible to cut 20% of Medicare spending “with no adverse effects on health” — presumably by hewing to tough standards for which medications and therapies are actually useful in preventing and treating chronic disease. But no one can yet identify which 20% is wasted.

There is a nonpartisan institution that is set up to find out where the wrong care is being delivered to the wrong patients at the wrong price. It is the federal government’s own Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

And, also yesterday, AHRQ reported the depressing news that the rate by which quality health care is increasing since 1994 actually fell last year.

So here we have it: We are paying more for less. We don’t stand for it at a car dealership, the grocery store or our Internet service provider. And we shouldn’t stand for it the health marketplace, either.

The next president will face vexing choices on health care, but the easiest one ought to be bolstering the budgets of AHRQ, which President Bush recommended get a 9% decrease in FY09 as well those of the National Institutes of Health (zero increase) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (a $433 million decrease.)

FY09 Budget: Take Action

Friday, February 1st, 2008

It isn’t just medical research suffering from the partisanship in Washington, it’s the hard sciences, too, as this article from Reuters explains. President Bush’s final budget proposal will be submitted early next week, and the guessing is it will not remedy the past several years of declining support. Once the budget for the main medical and health research agencies — NIH, CDC and AHRQ — is made public, it will be up to scientists to take the lead in explaining to Congress the importance of what they do.

Research!America stands ready to assist you, starting with the “Take Action” tab on our home page.

AHRQ Identifies Costliest Conditions

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has totaled up the cost of the 10 most expensive illnesses and conditions facing ordinary Americans as of 2005. The price tag is a whopping $500 billion, just for medical care and not including lost productivity. The costliest conditions are heart disease, trauma, cancer, mental illness, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, back pain and normal childbirth.

One of the federal government’s major scientific research agencies, AHRQ had been recommended for a 3.4% budget increase by the administration last year and got it bumped by Congress to an increase of 4.7% for FY08, maintaining pace with inflation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s budget rose only 2.8%, and the budget of the National Institutes of Health … the engine of worldwide research on cures — will rise a microscopic 0.46%.

Treating disease is certainly costly; preventing it is pretty cheap.

FY 2008 Appropriations Update: Minimal Increases for Health Research

Friday, December 21st, 2007

On December 19, Congress passed an omnibus bill to fund the 11 remaining FY 2008 appropriations bills, including Labor, Health and Human Services and Education. President Bush is expected to sign the bill soon.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2008 (H.R. 2764) includes an increase of less than 1% for the NIH and a 2.8% budget increase for the CDC. The previous bill (H.R. 3043), vetoed by the President in November, included a 3.1% budget increase for the NIH and 6.6% increase for the CDC. The NIH will receive $760 million less and the CDC will receive $240 million less than in the original bill. Funding for AHRQ will increase modestly from $319 million in 2007 to $335 million in 2008.

Thank you to all advocates who contacted their congressional delegations this year in support of increased funding for NIH, CDC and AHRQ in FY 2008. Research!America is deeply disappointed in this Administration and its congressional supporters’ failure to endorse a stronger commitment to investment in medical and health research. We look forward to working with you in the year ahead to secure strong, sustained funding for NIH, CDC and AHRQ in FY 2009.