Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund (PCORTF) was created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (PDF version), which passed in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010. The PCORTF was created to help build the national capacity and infrastructure needed to conduct patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) and to enable PCOR findings to be integrated into clinical practice. In FY 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services began receiving 20 percent of the funds appropriated to the PCORTF on a yearly basis. Of this amount, 16 percent is allocated to AHRQ and 4 percent is allocated to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE).

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) as defined in the ACA is comparative clinical effectiveness research on the impact of patient health outcomes of two or more preventive, diagnostic, treatment, or health care delivery approaches.

AHRQ's Role

As authorized in Section 937 of the ACA (PDF version), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) will:

  • Disseminate findings from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and government-funded entities that sponsor research on comparative clinical effectiveness.
  • Build capacity for comparative clinical effectiveness research by awarding training grants to researchers.
  • Develop a publicly available resource database that collects government-funded evidence and research from public, private, not-for-profit, and academic sources.
  • Support the incorporation of research findings into health information technologies associated with clinical decision support.

HHS' Role

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) also receives PCOR Trust Funds to build data capacity for PCOR. ASPE also convenes a Leadership Council to develop and implement a strategy to use their designated funds effectively.

PCORI's Role

Furthermore, PCORI receives 80% of the PCORTF to advance the evidence on health outcomes through research. PCORI is mandated to conduct comparative clinical effectiveness research to assist patients, clinicians, purchasers, and policymakers in making informed health decisions.

Page last reviewed January 2016
Internet Citation: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund. January 2016. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/cpi/initiatives/pcortf/pcor-home.html