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Washington Highlights

GAO Releases CER, PCORI Reports

March 13, 2015— The Government Accountability Office (GAO), in accordance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152), released two reports reviewing the dissemination and data capacity building efforts of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) activities, and the extent to which established priorities are being met by Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) activities.

In its March 3 report, “HHS Need to Strengthen Dissemination and Data-Capacity-Building Efforts,” the GAO details the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)’s activities to disseminate the results of federally funded CER, and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE)’s activities to coordinate federal programs to support CER by building the capacity to collect, link, and analyze data. Recommendations include the establishment of more clearly defined goals, and the clarification of implementation timelines and level of coordination necessary for successful project completion.

In its March 9 report, “Initial Assessment of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute,” the GAO outlines PCORI’s five broad research priorities, recognizes the set research agenda to address each priority, and reviews the process established to select projects for funding, peer review final reports, and disseminate findings. The report also references PCORI developing an evaluation plan to measure outcomes related to its three strategic goals to increase information, speed implementation, and influence research.


Alexander Ommaya, DSc, Senior Director,
Clinical and Translational Research and Policy
Telephone: 202-741-5520


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