Though Its Work Saves Countless Lives, Agency’s Anonymity Threatens Its Future
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has instituted changes in the health care system that have saved many lives, but as the industry is about to enter a time of uncertainty under a Trump administration, the agency could lose support.
How AHRQ's Low Profile Threatens Work On Healthcare Best Practices
AHRQ—pronounced “arc” by wonks—is quietly lauded by fans and vocally scorned by detractors. Its mission of figuring out how to improve the healthcare system is all the more daunting for its relatively puny annual budget that for several years has hovered around $430 million. But research supported by AHRQ, sometimes solely so, has transformed the underpinnings of a sector that not only directly manages life and death but also encompasses nearly one-fifth of the U.S. economy. The HHS agency's anonymity might be inherent in the nature of its work, but its obscurity has serious implications as federal healthcare policy is thrown into tumult with the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. (Whitman, 11/19)
In other news —
NIH Chief: Short-Term Spending Bill 'Painful' For Medical Research
The head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is warning that plans to pass a short-term government spending bill could deal a blow to health research. NIH Director Francis Collins on Thursday called the plan for a continuing resolution (CR), which would extend current spending levels until March, "an extremely unfortunate and painful outcome for biomedical research.”Collins said researchers needed more funding. (Chacko, 11/18)