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 Evidence-based Practice Center Program released its first evidence report on treatment alternatives for gastric reflux disease.
- The DEcIDE Network was formed to gather new knowledge and information on specific treatments and conducted studies on the outcomes, effectiveness, safety, and usefulness of medical treatments and services.
- The John M. Eisenberg Center for Clinical Decisions and Communications Science was established to translate complex scientific findings into understandable language for different audiences and to develop tools that encourage and empower consumers to make informed health care decisions.
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:
- Academic Detailing
- AHRQ Community Forum
- AHRQ Healthcare Horizon Scanning System
- National Initiative for Promoting Evidence-based Health Information
- Online Continuing Education
- Regional Partnership Development Offices
- Systematic Dissemination Program Evaluation
The EHC Program started receiving funds from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund to conduct and disseminate patient-centered outcomes research.