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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Joins Coalition, Lawmakers in Support of AHRQ Funding

    Tannaz Rasouli, Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach

    A coalition of 142 organizations, including the AAMC, March 27 joined a House and Senate letter organized by the Friends of AHRQ urging appropriators to provide at least $454 million in budget authority for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in fiscal year (FY) 2019.

    The signatories of the letter detail how the proposed budget authority would “allow AHRQ to rebuild portfolios terminated after the last seven years of cuts, and will help the agency avoid a funding cliff that will result in more than a 25 percent cut to its program level budget when the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Trust Fund is at risk of expiring at the end of FY 2019.”

    Expanding on AHRQ’s importance, the letters highlight how AHRQ “is the federal agency singularly responsible for reducing the nearly 100,000 deaths in the United States each year associated with medical errors,” and “is the only federal agency that funds research on the ‘real-life’ patient.”

    Similarly, thirty-seven members of the House of Representatives March 19 sent a letter to House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Service, Education and Related Agencies Chair Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) also supporting $454 million in budget authority. The lawmakers write, “AHRQ ensures that our health care system becomes the most efficient one in the world.”

    The FY 2018 omnibus appropriations bill provided $334 million for AHRQ, a $10 million (3.1 percent) increase over the comparable FY 2017 funding level [see Washington Highlights, March 23].