Proposed House budget would cut Agency for Health Research on Quality

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The House Appropriations Committee's proposed fiscal 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services budget would eliminate the Health & Human Services' Agency for Health Research on Quality, a move that is drawing criticism from healthcare advocates.

If the budget plan passes, the AHRQ's duties would be split among other HHS programs.

The AHRQ currently receives $465 million in funding for development of evidence-based care and health information technology, including research grants for chronic disease management, patient safety and meaningful use.

“It is a strategic mistake to defund the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality,  wiping out research that informs the delivery of medical advances to patients,” Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley said in a statement. “Our nation can't afford to waste lives, time or dollars on preventable medical errors, lags between new discoveries and their application, and health interventions that fail to do what they are supposed to do.”

Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) offered amendments to restore AHRQ funding, which were rejected.

The 2016 budget would also increase funding for the National Institute of Health by $1.1 billion, which would provide increased funding for an Alzheimer's research study,  an antibiotic resistance initiative and others.