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Obama's Budget: More Money, New Name for Comparative Effectiveness Research

Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, February 4, 2010

While Congress may not have approved healthcare reform legislation yet, one of the more well-discussed—and sometimes controversial—areas included in the reform bills was included in President Obama's proposed fiscal 2011 budget: comparative effectiveness research (CER).

However, a scan of the proposed budget will detect no references to "CER;" its new name is instead: "patient-centered health research."

In the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) budget, no explanation is given for the name change. The fiscal 2011 budget request provides a total of $286 million—which included $273 million for research and $13 million for related program support—targeted in part for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to support new research projects.

In fiscal 2011, these funds will "continue to build on previous investments" to support the following activities: "identifying new and emerging issues; synthesizing current, existing evidence; identifying evidence; generating new evidence; translating and disseminating knowledge generated; training and career development; and comprehensively engaging stakeholders," according to the proposal.

A total of $116 million, an increase of $104 million over fiscal 2010, will fund 138 research grants, of which 105 are new and competing in fiscal 2011.

The proposed 2011 funding will "support the generation, translation, and dissemination of research" that will "improve healthcare quality and efficiency" by providing patients and clinicians with evidence based information for enhancing medical decision making," according to the proposal.

The budget also will continue to support Patient Centered Health Research within the National Institutes of Health.

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