About the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148) established the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund (PCORTF). The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (P.L. 116-94) reauthorized the PCORTF for 10 years. As authorized in section 937 of the Public Health Service Act, beginning in FY 2011, and continuing with the reauthorization, a total of 20 percent of the funds appropriated or credited to the PCORTF are transferred each year to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – 16 percent to AHRQ and 4 percent to the Office of the Secretary.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amends subchapter A of chapter 98 of the Internal Revenue Code to authorize the establishment of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund and transfer of funds to HHS for the activities described above. The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (P.L. 116-94) reauthorized the PCORTF.
Use of Funding
As directed in the statute, AHRQ uses the funds to establish grants to train CER researchers and disseminates and supports the implementation of PCOR research findings into clinical practice (including assisting the users of health IT in incorporating PCOR findings into clinical practice).
Goals of the PCOR Trust Fund
The three goals set forth by Congress for the PCORTF are accomplished by coordination between three partners: the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
Learn more about how Congress directed the PCOR Trust Fund to be invested to support these activities.
PCORI (Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute) 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
Congress instructed AHRQ to invest in four specific activities within two areas that build upon AHRQ’s core mission and experience: Dissemination and Training. AHRQ receives 16 percent of the PCORTFfor these purposes.
- Disseminate findings from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and government-funded entities that sponsor research on comparative clinical effectiveness.
- Develop a publicly available resource 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.
- Award training grants to develop the skills of researchers to build capacity for future comparative effectiveness research.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) also receives 4 percent of the PCORTF to build data capacity for PCOR. ASPE also convenes a Leadership Council to develop and implement a strategy to use their designated funds effectively.