AHRQ FY 2015 Budget Details Activities, Effort Needed To Fulfill New Mission

Electronic Newsletter, Issue 416

AHRQ's Electronic Newsletter summarizes Agency research and programmatic activities.

March 11, 2014


AHRQ Stats

Among employees in the private sector with employer-sponsored health plans in 2012, those with single coverage were much more likely to not have to contribute toward their plan's premium than employees with non-single coverage. Overall, 17.1 percent of those enrolled in single plans did not contribute toward the premium cost compared with 8.1 percent with family coverage and 7.7 percent with employee-plus-one coverage. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Brief #416, Employer-Sponsored Single, Employee-Plus-One, and Family Health Insurance Coverage in the Private Sector: Selection and Cost, 2012.)

Today's Headlines

  1. AHRQ FY 2015 Budget Details Activities, Effort Needed To Fulfill New Mission.
  2. Trends in Health Care Quality and Disparities for Children Examined in New AHRQ Study.
  3. JAMIA Study Notes EHR Functionality Needed To Support Primary Care.
  4. AHRQ Study Identifies Best Practices for Care Management in Primary Care.
  5. Register Now: March 12 Webinar on Using Team Debriefs and Formative Feedback.
  6. AHRQ in the Professional Literature.

1. AHRQ FY 2015 Budget Details Activities, Effort Needed To Fulfill New Mission

AHRQ's $440 million budget for FY 2015, released March 7, includes funding for research, data collection and dissemination of evidence and evidence-based tools. The budget, available on the AHRQ Web site, funds health services research that produces evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable and affordable. The budget builds on past successes, focusing on projects that have demonstrated impact, while also funding new activities. One new initiative will expand AHRQ's advances in improving safety in hospitals through patient-safety activities to additional settings, beginning with primary care practices and nursing homes in FY 2015. Another new initiative involves funding investigator-initiated health economics research, with the goal of increasing the efficiency, effectiveness and value of the health care system. 

2. Trends in Health Care Quality and Disparities for Children Examined in New AHRQ Study

Limited progress was shown in child and adolescent health care quality from 2000 through 2009, and opportunity remains for improvement, according to an abstract of a new AHRQ study in the March/April issue of Academic Pediatrics. The authors of "Child and Adolescent Health Care Quality and Disparities: Are We Making Progress?" identified 39 measures with sufficient data to analyze trends in disparities in quality from AHRQ's 2011 National Healthcare Quality Report and 2011 National Healthcare Disparities Report. They then looked at comparison groups within those measures and found that 126 comparisons showed no change, eight improved and three worsened. For example, trends for asthma care showed no change in disparities in hospital admission rates for four comparison groups (poor, low-income, Black and Hispanic). There was improvement in the daily use of preventive medication by non-Hispanic black children, although rates for those children remained low (just under 18 percent). The authors noted that federal efforts such as the Affordable Care Act and the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act are addressing quality and access to care for children.

3. JAMIA Study Notes EHR Functionality Needed To Support Primary Care

An AHRQ-funded study that examined gaps in current electronic health record (EHR) functionality found that enhancements would improve support for primary care. An abstract of "Electronic Health Record Functionality Needed to Better Support Primary Care" was published online January 15 in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. According to the authors, enhanced EHR functionality is still needed, including EHR modifications, expanded use of patient portals, seamless integration with external applications and advancement of national infrastructure and policies. The study said EHRs should move beyond documentation to interpreting and tracking information over time, as well as facilitating patient-partnering activities, support for team-based care, population-management tools that deliver care and reduced documentation burden. The American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Board of Family Medicine and North American Primary Care Research Group endorsed the paper.

4. AHRQ Study Identifies Best Practices for Care Management in Primary Care

An AHRQ-funded study, "Implementing Effective Care Management in the Patient-Centered Medical Home," appearing in the American Journal of Managed Care, identified best practices among patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) that embedded care management in their medical team. Using diabetes care as a comparative measure, the study (abstract) found that PCMHs showing the most improvement in diabetes management used care managers who had strong patient-centered duties, fully used the electronic medical record for team messaging and patient tracking, and ensured ongoing communication among team members through techniques such as office huddles. Findings were based on semistructured interviews of 21 National Committee on Quality Assurance-recognized PCMHs in Pennsylvania. The authors suggested that PCMHs may want to ensure care managers meet with patients during medical visits and provide patient self-management support for chronic conditions.

5. Register Now: March 12 Webinar on Using Team Debriefs and Formative Feedback

AHRQ will host a one-hour Web conference March 12 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET on using the Agency's teamwork training program, TeamSTEPPS®, and using event debriefs and formative feedback with frontline providers. Mary Salisbury, M.S.N., R.N., an expert in providing teamwork training, will provide:

  • Three key teamwork strategies to improve patient safety on the front line.
  • The unique components of event debrief and formative feedback.
  • Insights on using debriefs and formative feedback to grow trusting, resilient team relationships.

Registration is now open.

6. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Fox HB, McManus MA, Irwin CE Jr, et al. A research agenda for adolescent-centered primary care in the United States. J Adolesc Health 2013 Sep;53(3):307-10. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Weingart SN, Carbo A, Tess A, et al. Using a patient Internet portal to prevent adverse drug events: a randomized, controlled trial. J Patient Saf 2013 Sep;9(3):169-75. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Bakitas M, Macmartin M, Trzepkowski K, et al. Palliative care consultations for heart failure patients: how many, when, and why? J Card Fail 2013 Mar;19(3):193-201. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Tubbs-Cooley HL, Cimiotti JP, Silber JH, et al. An observational study of nurse staffing ratios and hospital readmission among children admitted for common conditions. BMJ Qual Saf 2013 Sep;22(9):735-42. Epub 2013 May 7. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Huybrechts KF, Palmsten K, Mogun H, et al. National trends in antidepressant medication treatment among publicly insured pregnant women. Gen Hosp Psychiatry 2013 May-Jun;35(3):265-71. Epub 2013 Jan 30. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Du XL, Cai Y, Symanski E. Association between chemotherapy and cognitive impairments in a large cohort of patients with colorectal cancer. Int J Oncol 2013 Jun;42(6):2123-33. Epub 2013 Apr 4. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Karaca Z, Wong HS. Racial disparity in duration of patient visits to the emergency department: teaching versus non-teaching hospitals. West J Emerg Med 2013 Sep;14(5):529-41. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Ryan GJ, Caudle JM, Rhee MK, et al. Medication reconciliation: comparing a customized medication history form to a standard medication form in a specialty clinic (CAMPII 2). J Patient Saf 2013 Sep;9(3):160-8. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.


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Page last reviewed March 2014
Internet Citation: AHRQ FY 2015 Budget Details Activities, Effort Needed To Fulfill New Mission: Electronic Newsletter, Issue 416. March 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/416.html