House Appropriations Subcommittee Votes to Defund AHRQ | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

House Appropriations Subcommittee Votes to Defund AHRQ

July 19, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

In what was essentially an 8-6 party-line vote, the House Appropriations Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services subcommittee voted through a bill that would cut $1.3 billion in funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as well as abolish the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

“This legislation reflects our strong commitment to reduce over-regulation and unnecessary, ineffective spending that feeds the nation’s deficits and hampers economic growth. A careful look was given to all programs and agencies in the bill, with the budget knife aimed at excess spending and underperforming programs, but also with the goal of making wise investments in programs that help the American people the most,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said in a statement.

Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) was the only Republican to vote against it, according to Politico.

The bill, which will be passed along to the U.S. Senate, has been controversial in the healthcare industry. Many, Bruce Siegel, M.D., president and CEO of the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH), said terminating the AHRQ would badly undermine important research on health care quality, disparities in care and patient safety.                                                                                                                                        

"NAPH members strongly support AHRQ research and partner with the agency on initiatives to find and use best practices for improving quality and value at safety net institutions. Examples are plentiful. AHRQ funding has supported the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center's Project ECHO, which remotely connects urban medical center disease experts with rural general practitioners and community health workers to care for the chronically ill and others who lack access to specialists. Boston Medical Center's Project RED has re-engineered workflows to improve patient safety and decrease readmissions. This AHRQ-funded study is being replicated in organizations across the country,” Siegel said in a statement.

Siegel said the move to cut the AHRQ, which was founded more than 20 years ago in 1989, is “misguided.” Other groups, such as Research! America, have also weighed in against the bill. Research! America president and CEO Mary Woolley said the AHRQ’s research is addressing medical errors that kill more than 100,000 people a year and accelerating patient access to the best medical practices.”

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



KLAS Research: Small Hospitals’ Buying Decisions Impacting EMR Market Share

A new KLAS Research report tracks shifts in electronic medical record (EMR) vendor market share among acute care hospitals, and finds that smaller hospitals are seeking technology solutions that meet their needs and limited budgets, and these contracts are making a mark on the EMR market.

Survey: Majority of Providers Predict Success for New Generic Drug Company, Project Rx

Back in January, four health systems, in consultation with the VA, announced a collaboration to develop a new, not-for-profit generic drug company. A survey has found that 90 percent of providers say they would become customers of the new venture.

Personalized Medicine Awareness Low Among U.S. Adults, Survey Finds

Genetics and personalized medicine are not top of mind for the general public in the U.S., according to a recent survey from GenomeWeb and the Personalized Medicine Coalition.

Industry Organizations Praise Senate Passage of VA Mission Act

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed, by a vote of 92-5, a major Veterans Affairs (VA) reform bill that includes health IT-related provisions to improve health data exchange between VA healthcare providers and community care providers.

NIH Issues Funding Announcement for All of Us Genomic Research Program

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) “All of Us” Research Program has issued a funding announcement for genome centers to generate genotype and whole genome sequence data from participants’ biosamples.

MGMA: Physician Compensation Data Illustrates Nationwide PCP Shortage

Primary care physicians’ compensation rose by more than 10 percent over the past five years, representing an increase which is nearly double that of specialty physicians’ compensation over the same period, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).