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AHRQ--Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Advancing Excellence in Health Care

Effective Health Care Program Listening Session

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hosted a listening session on Wednesday, January 11, 2006, to solicit input on research priorities for the Effective Health Care Program.

Opening remarks were given by:

  • Barry M. Straube, M.D., Acting Chief Medical Officer, Acting Director, Office of Clinical Standards & Quality, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
  • John O. Agwunobi, M.D., M.B.A., Assistant Secretary for Health, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Carolyn Clancy, M.D., Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

These remarks were followed by an open forum in which participants gave oral comments on suggested topics for study under the Effective Health Care Program and the structure of the priority lists (e.g., disease/condition, type of intervention, affected population, etc.)

Download an MP3 of the audio of this session: MP3, 32.3 MB

Download a PDF transcript of this session: Transcript (206 KB)


Patients, providers, and policymakers share an interest in making informed decisions about health care to promote good outcomes. One of the greatest challenges is finding reliable and practical data that can inform these decisions.

Initial work in the Effective Health Care Program originates from Section 1013 of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003. Section 1013 authorizes the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to conduct and support research with a focus on the outcomes, comparative clinical effectiveness, and appropriateness of pharmaceuticals, devices, and health care services.

Research will be informed by the needs of the Medicare, Medicaid, and State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Research may include strategies for how these items and services are organized, managed, and delivered.