A project of the George Washington University's Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality

Study finds an increase in premiums in 2013

Posted on July 17, 2014

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Medical Expenditure Panel Survey reports that premiums for employer-sponsored insurance increased by about 3.5 percent in 2013. Out-of-pocket costs also climbed by at least 4 percent in 2013. However, the majority of Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance market reforms did not take effect until 2014, meaning data on 2014 premiums will provide more meaningful insight into the law’s impact on premiums and cost sharing.

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House Appropriations Committee seeks to cut all AHRQ and PCOR funding

Posted on July 18, 2012

Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee posted the proposed fiscal year 2013 spending bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and related agencies. The bill effectively terminates the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Section 223) by cutting its budget entirely. This is the first such attack on AHRQ funding in almost 20 years.

AHRQ funds research and programs at local universities, hospitals, and health departments that improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care. The bill also cuts funding for patient-centered outcomes research (Section 217). The PCOR funding prohibition would extend to any federal agency in the subcommittee’s jurisdiction.

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HHS releases Medicaid quality measures

Posted on January 6, 2012

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) December 31, 2011 released a set of 26 quality measures to help track and improve health care delivered to Medicaid enrollees. The 26 quality measures are grouped into six major categories: 1) prevention and health promotion (e.g., flu shots for adults); 2) management of acute conditions (e.g., follow-up after hospitalization); 3) management of chronic conditions (e.g., controlling high blood pressure); 4) family experiences of care (e.g., surveys); 5) care coordination (e.g., timely transmission of records among providers); and 6) availability of care (e.g., prenatal and postpartum care). The development of these quality measures is mandated under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Initially, HHS released a set of 51 proposed measures on December 31, 2010 and accepted public comments for two months. HHS reportedly received about 100 comments, many of which pertained to the overwhelming volume of quality measures. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and other agencies within HHS were involved in pairing down the final core set to 26 quality measures.

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HHS announces new national quality strategy

Posted on March 22, 2011

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care (National Quality Strategy). Created by the Affordabe Care Act (ACA), the National Quality Strategy seeks to improve the overall quality of health care in the U.S. by making it more reliable and patient-centered, as well as making it more affordable.

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HHS issues Multiple Chronic Conditions framework

Posted on December 14, 2010

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued a Strategic Framework on Multiple Chronic Conditions. Produced by HHS with input from private and public stakeholders, the new framework hopes to “reduce the risks of complications and improve the overall health status of individuals with multiple chronic conditions by fostering change within the system; providing [...]

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