A group of 43 members of the House of Representatives joined together on a letter to the House Appropriations Committee in support of funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
The letter, championed by Rep. Donald S. Beyer, Jr. (D-Va.), asks House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee Chair Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) for $364 million for AHRQ in fiscal year (FY) 2018. The funding request is level with AHRQ funding during FY 2015.
Making their case, the letter states, “[AHRQ] is the only federal agency whose sole focus is to generate reliable research on how to deliver the highest quality care, at the greatest value, with the best outcomes.” The letter continues, “Thanks in part to AHRQ, the rate of hospital-acquired conditions has dropped by 21 percent, saving Americans nearly $28 billion.”
The group’s request of $364 million for AHRQ in FY 2018 aligns with the funding recommendation put forward by the stakeholder community, including the AAMC.
Despite requests from members of Congress and the health community to increase the FY 2018 AHRQ budget, the March 16 White House Budget Blueprint includes language that suggests consolidating AHRQ within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) [see Washington Highlights, March 17]. In his response to the proposal, AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, noted that “preserving the unique work of AHRQ is vital to optimizing the effectiveness and efficiency of the nation’s health care delivery system.”