AHRQ budget increased
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 13, 2004
The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is expected to receive a 5% budget increase in fiscal year 2005, but that will still be far lower than the Friends of AHRQ coalition was calling for.
The final 2005 budget approved by Congress last month includes about $319 million for the agency, which is $15 million more than it received in 2004. The Friends coalition, which includes the AMA and 129 other organizations, had lobbied for the agency's budget to be increased to $443 million.
The funds will go to "comparative effectiveness research" authorized by the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, said Jon Lawniczak, director of government relations for the Coalition for Health Services Research, which coordinates Friends activities.
Lawniczak noted that about $80 million of the AHRQ budget will pay for patient safety research and $50 million will go toward health information technology research. He said the coalition is advocating for more money to be used for researching why health care costs are rising and for translating research into practice.
Although the agency has political and professional support, Lawniczak said its budget is not expected to significantly increase unless the government increases its funding for health care research in general. Otherwise, any increase the agency sees will be at the expense of other government-funded research.
"[A significant AHRQ budget increase] will only be accomplished by growing the pie bigger," he said. "Nobody wants to say: 'Stop that cancer research so we can do more health service research.' "
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2004/12/13/prbf1213.htm.