July 25, 2012

AHRQ in the News

Most of us reference the AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) from time-to-time for research of interest and value.  This federally funded agency hands out significant dollars in grants for research on healthcare quality.  We list it on our site as a resource, and we reference their research frequently.  So, here’s one more reference.

Geisinger Health System’s patient-centered medical home model has resulted in a reduction in hospital admissions for all patients of 18%.  Another project, “Geriatric Resources for Assessment and Care of Elders,” using PCMH guidelines also found that hospitalizations were reduced, by as much as 40% to 44%.  Finally, a VA primary care model demonstrated that re-admissions were down 22% in the first six month, not sustained thereafter, unfortunately. (While you are checking out this link, read on to the article about what hospitalists should be thinking about in light of the PCMH movement.)

All these findings were published by the AHRQ, which is studying the effects of the PCMH model on cost, re-admissions, admissions, emergency department utilization, etc.  Finally, your tax dollars giving you something important (just kidding!).

But, on a more troublesome note, the funding for the AHRQ is in jeopardy.  It has been reported that the House Appropriations Committee is proposing complete dismantling of the agency and non-funding through the 2013 budget process.   Important research that is in process right now, or under consideration for the future, could be abandoned.   Too bad there isn’t a lobby as powerful as the NRA to help protect what this agency is able to accomplish in understanding how to improve the public health.  And, that research we mentioned above, it could take ten years to get complete and reliable results.  If the funding for AHRQ is eliminated, we’ll never get them.

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Filed Under: Research

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