GAO: AHRQ Must Boost Comparative Effectiveness Research Sharing

March 5, 2015 in News

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has failed to fully address requirements for sharing its comparative effectiveness research data with the public, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Tuesday, Health Data Management reports.

Background

Under the Affordable Care Act, AHRQ is required to make its data on comparative effectiveness research publicly available. As part of the requirement, AHRQ said it would create a website to list links to databases containing the information (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 3/4).

Findings

According to the report, AHRQ has earmarked about $37 million of the $731 million in grant funding it expects to receive through 2019 for dissemination purposes.

However, the report found that while AHRQ has created tools to organize and share the data, “the agency has not clearly defined how to disseminate information to certain stakeholder groups specified in the law” (GAO report, March 2015).

In addition, the GAO report found that AHRQ has failed to define:

  • Measurable milestones;
  • Specific objectives; and
  • Time frames to “ensure effectiveness” (Health Data Management, 3/4).

GAO said HHS should direct AHRQ to identify time frames for implementing and distributing marketing plans and data tools.

HHS agreed with the recommendation (Health Data Management, 3/4).

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