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ture. The National Advisory Council, which was established by the legislation, has been formed, functional statements created, and members selected. They have now met twice. They are prominent individuals in the field of health, nursing, allied health as well as health services research. They will provide a strong guiding hand in the work that we undertake.

Second, we have catalyzed several new programs. Our charge to develop an effectiveness and outcomes program is encapsulated in what we call the Medical Treatment Effectiveness Program. We have attached two diagrams at the back of our written statement which outline briefly the interaction between data development and research and guidelines, dissemination, and evaluation. We could comment on that later if you wish.

In addition, we have brought a great deal of energy to the area of primary care. This has been accomplished in various aspects of our agency and others within the Public Health Service but we believe it deserves a great deal more attention to highlight the issues of the underserved, access to care, and the dynamics that go on between patients and providers at the primary care level setting.

Third, we have energized the medical liability research activities within the Department. While these activities have been there in the past, the new authorization allowed us to take them into our charge. We have just completed a workshop conference to lay out our research agenda identifying key issues that we need to invest in to understand more clearly defensive medicine, alternative tort reform measures, and the other issues that compound this interaction between the legal system and today's medical system.

Finally, we have accomplished an extraordinary degree of collaboration. In the first instance, we have done that collaboratively with components of the Public Health Service. Our funds are transferred to other PHS agencies to accomplish actions within the Medical Treatment Effectiveness Program.

We have renewed relationships with the Health Care Financing Administration and made significant transfers of funds to accomplish needed data development activities to accomplish our effectiveness and outcomes agenda.

We have transferred money to the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control, to accomplish activities in which they have special expertise, consistent with the overall concepts of the Medical Treatment Effectiveness Program.

In the private sector we have accomplished a great deal. We have worked with the majority of major medical societies under the umbrella of the American Medical Association and with more than 40 groups under the American Nursing Association. We have brought in the allied health professionals into our set of activities for the first time both in terms of guideline development as well as research.

PREPARED STATEMENT We are, then, the Department's focal point for health systems research and health services research. In its first 16 months we have both laid the groundwork and accomplished a significant amount of activity. We believe it will contribute to an improved quality health care system.

We will be glad to respond to the questions you might have, Mr. Chairman.

(The statement follows:)


Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:

I am pleased to appear before you today to discuss the Fiscal Year 1992 budget request for the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.

The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research was created in December 1989 with enactment of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989 (Public Law 101-239). Its purpose is to enhance the quality, appropriateness, and effectiveness of health care services and to improve access to that care. The Agency is the Federal Government's focal point for medical effectiveness and health services research, expanding on the work of its predecessor organization, the National Center for Health Services Research and Health Care Technology Assessment (NCHSR).

In carrying out the general duties of Title IX of the Public Health Service Act, the AHCPR is responsible for:

Developing a broad base of scientific research, methods, and data bases. This is done through funding extramural research grants, research contracts and by supporting intramural research activities.

Demonstrating and evaluating new ways to organize, finance, and direct health care services to improve the delivery, quality, access to, and outcomes of such services.

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Facilitating the development of clinically relevant guidelines for specific conditions and treatments and development of standardized measurements of quality care for use by physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, other health care practitioners, health educators and health care consumers.

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Assessing technologies being considered for reimbursement by Federally funded programs.

Promoting the utilization of health services research findings and clinical guidelines through a systematic and broad-based program of information dissemination.

The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research is the newest agency of the Public Health Service yet it is built on a solid foundation. Over the last two decades, its predecessor, the NCHSR, supported research that has had a major effect on our health care system and on Federal policies. Many facets of today's health care system are structured and operate as a result of knowledge obtained from research sponsored by this organization. For example, our research provided the foundation for the Medicare DRG payment system and the Rural Health Clinics Act. The breadth and scope of past research activities have positioned the Agency to move quickly and effectively in the new directions mandated by Congress and those identified by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in his FY 1991 - FY 1992 Program Directions.

The Fiscal Year (FY) 1992 budget request for the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research is $122,000,000 in total obligations. This represents an increase of $7 million or 6 percent over 1991 obligations. The Agency's FY 1992 budget request is comprised of the following sources of funds: an appropriation from the general funds of the Treasury of $34,283,000; an appropriation from the Medicare Trust Funds, pursuant to Section 1142(i) of the Social Security Act, of $36,723,000; reimbursement from the Medicare Trust Funds for health care technology assessment, $1,050,000; and 40 percent of the maximum amount authorized for evaluations under section 2611 of the Public Health Service Act, pursuant to section 926(b) of said Act, estimated to be $49,944,000.

General Health Services Research and Health Care Technology

The budget request for general health services research and health care technology assessment is $56,723,000 in 1992. This includes $16,129,000 in budget authority, $1,050,000 to be transferred from the Medicare Trust Funds, and an additional $39,544,000 from PHS 1% evaluation funds to be allocated for evaluative research under this program. The 1992 request includes an increase of $6,591,000, or 13%, over the FY 1991 level of $50,132,000.

The 1992 request will provide for continued support of research on health care services and on the systems for the delivery of such services and the dissemination of information derived from such research. Specific research addresses such areas as health care services in rural areas, clinical practice, health care technologies, health care costs, managed care, long-term care, health services delivery for minorities and the disadvantaged, and medical liability.

The 1992 budget request for general health services research and technology assessment includes $10,800,000 for health services research on HIV/AIDS related illnesses. This is an increase of $548,000 over 1991. The Agency will convene a panel in FY 1991 - FY 1992 to develop HIV clinical guidelines. Also, the Agency will continue support of its AIDS Cost and Service Utilization Survey (ACSUS) to assess the health resource utilization of both the symptomatic and asymptomatic population. The Agency will support new research to study the availability, cost, and utilization of services for different HIV risk groups, populations, geographic areas, and stages of illness and treatment modalities.

As provided by section 926(b) of the Public Health Service Act, $39,544,000 is included for evaluative research in general health services and technology assessment in 1992. Of these funds, $26,100,000 will support research in priority areas including such issues as medical liability and primary care. Activities under the broad topic of primary care include the delivery of health services to minorities and the disadvantaged, rural health research, infant mortality, health promotion and disease prevention. The remaining $13,444,000 from 1% evaluation funds will continue support for the National Medical Expenditure Survey and the Provider Studies Program.

The 1992 budget request includes transferring $1,050,000 from the Medicare Trust Funds, for health care technology assessment activities undertaken at the request of the Health Care Financing

This is an increase of $38,000 over the 1991 level

Administration. of $1,012,000.

Medical Treatment Effectivenessi

The budget request includes $62,947,000 for the Medical Treatment Effectiveness Program. This request will enable the Agency to maintain the FY 1991 level of effort for this program. of the $62,947,000 requested, $36,723,000 will be appropriated from the Medicare Trust Funds; $15,824,000 will come from the general fund of the Treasury; and an additional $10,400,000 from PHS 1% evaluation funds will be allocated for evaluative research under this program.


The Medical Treatment Effectiveness Program is a continuing high priority to improve the effectiveness and appropriateness of health care services and procedures through a better understanding of the effects of health care practices on patient outcomes. The ultimate goal of the program is to provide information to patients and practitioners that will improve the health of our population and optimize utilization of scarce health care resources. This is a Departmental program which involves formal collaboration with other agencies of the Public Health Service and the Health Care Financing Administration. Major components of the program are outcomes research and data development, guidelines development, and dissemination and assimilation of findings.

More specifically, the program supports the development of scientific knowledge about patient outcomes through the development of methodologies to support outcomes research; the development and supplementation of databases to support outcomes research; the support and conduct of outcomes research; the dissemination of information derived from outcomes research; and the development and periodic review and updating of clinically relevant guidelines, standards, performance measures and review criteria.

The $62,947,000 requested for this important initiative will continue the momentum given to the program in 1991. For example, in FY 1992 the AHCPR will continue to support Patient outcome Research Teams (PORTS). These multidisciplinary teams identify and analyze the outcomes and costs of alternative practice patterns for a specific condition; determine the best strategy for treatment or clinical management of this condition; and develop and test methods for reducing inappropriate variations in practice patterns. They also evaluate the effects of disseminating the findings and recommending changes to these practice patters. In 1991, PORTS are addressing the following issues:

myocardial infarction
low back pain
total knee replacement
hip fracture
use of cesarean section

benign prostatic hypertrophy
chronic ischemic heart disease
biliary tract disease

Also, in FY 1992 AHCPR will continue to facilitate and develop clinical guidelines. Currently seven panels have been convened by AHCPR to develop guidelines for:

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