Effective Health Care Program History

The Effective Health Care (EHC) Program was created from the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. Section 1013 of that legislation authorizes the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to (1) conduct patient-centered outcomes research that investigates different drugs, devices, surgeries, and health care delivery arrangements to determine which approaches work best, for which patients, and under which circumstances and (2) communicate its findings widely to a variety of audiences. The research is driven by the needs of the Medicare, Medicaid, and State Children's Health Insurance Program.



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 EHC Program.


A statement on AHRQ’s Research Efforts in Comparative Effectiveness is delivered on June 12, 2007 by Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, before the Committee on Ways and Means, the Subcommittee on Health, U.S. House of Representatives.


Congress signaled continuing recognition of the EHC Program’s importance by doubling AHRQ’s budget for the program to $30 million.


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provided additional funding, in the amount of $300 million, for comparative effectiveness research. ARRA funded existing EHC Program projects in addition to new initiatives that supported comparative effectiveness research:


The EHC Program started receiving funds from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund to conduct and disseminate patient-centered outcomes research.

Page last reviewed April 2018
Page originally created September 2017

Internet Citation: Effective Health Care Program History. Content last reviewed April 2018. Effective Health Care Program, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

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