Blog Archives

Senate Labor-HHS-Education Bill Approved by Committee

On September 7, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its fiscal year (FY) 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Bill; the Labor-HHS Subcommittee advanced the bill on September 5. This bill contains annual funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Education (ED), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), among other federal departments and agencies. The House Appropriations Committee passed its version of the bill on July 19; the bill recently passed the House as part of a 12-bill omnibus (see related article).

The next step for the bill is consideration by the full Senate. However, Congress recently struck a deal with the White House on a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded into next fiscal year (which begins October 1) through December 8. This is intended to provide additional time for lawmakers to come to agreement on overall budget levels, including the spending caps that are currently casting a major shadow on the FY 2018 appropriations bills; the bills have been written to exceed the caps currently set in law, signaling that a budget deal could be negotiated in the weeks ahead.

Read on for COSSA’s analysis of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s proposals for the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Department of Education.

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Posted in Issue 18 (September 19), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

AHRQ Releases 2016 Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released the 2016 edition of its Congressionally-mandated National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (QDR). This year marks the 14th annual release of the report, which compiles over 250 individual measurements to present a comprehensive overview of the equity and quality of our health care system. The report is available on the AHRQ website.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 5), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

AHRQ Advisory Committee Seeking Nominations

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is accepting nominations for potential new members of the National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality, the scientific advisory body for AHRQ. Candidates should have experience with “(1) the conduct of research, demonstration projects, and evaluations with respect to health care; (2) the fields of health care quality research or health care improvement; (3) the practice of medicine; (4) other health professions; (5) representing the private health care sector (including health plans, providers, and purchasers) or administrators of health care delivery systems; (6) the fields of health care economics, information systems, law, ethics, business, or public policy; and, (7) representing the interests of patients and consumers of health care.” More information is available in the Federal Register notice.

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Posted in Issue 14 (July 11), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

Senate Subcommittee Discusses FY 2018 NIH Budget, Pledges Support

On June 22, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee held a hearing to discuss the fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget request for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Appearing before the committee were NIH Director Francis Collins and six institute and center directors, including Douglas Lowy of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Gary Gibbons of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Richard Hodes of the National Institute of Aging (NIA), Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and Joshua Gordon of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

As previously reported, the Trump Administration’s budget request for NIH seeks a cut of $7 billion or about 22 percent from current levels. The proposed reduction came at the same time Congress was putting the finishing touches on its $2 billion increase for the agency in FY 2017. NIH funding has long been one of the rare instances of unified, bipartisan support in Congress. In fact, at the outset of the hearing, LHHS Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) criticized the President’s request, stating that he “fundamentally disagree[s] with the proposed reduction.” While over the last two years Congress has worked to increase the NIH budget by more than 13 percent, the Administration offers a budget that would result in the loss of 90,000 jobs and $15.3 billion in economic activity, stated the chairman. Subcommittee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) added that the proposed cut would represent the lowest funding level for the agency since 2002. Other Subcommittee members expressed their objection to the request and pledged their support for increased NIH funding again in FY 2018. (more…)

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Posted in Issue 13 (June 27), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

COSSA Senate Testimony Calls for Funding for NIH, AHRQ, CDC, Education Programs

On June 2, COSSA submitted testimony to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies for fiscal year (FY) 2018. The testimony calls for increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Institute for Education Sciences (IES), and International Education and Foreign Language Programs (Title VI and Fulbright-Hays).

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Posted in Issue 12 (June 13), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

Funding Opportunity Announcements

  • AHRQ: National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) (RFA-HS-17-011)\

NIH Opportunities:

  • NIA: Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Centers (P30) (RFA-AG-18-007)
  • NIA: NIA Academic Leadership Career Award (K07) (PAR-17-287)
  • NIA: NIA MSTEM: Advancing Diversity in Aging Research through Undergraduate Education (R25) (PAR-17-290)
  • NIH: Addressing Suicide Research Gaps: Understanding Mortality Outcomes (R01) (RFA-MH-18-410) [NIMH, NCCIH, NIDA, NIMHD]
  • NCI: U.S. Tobacco Control Policies to Reduce Health Disparities (R01) (PAR-17-217), (R21) (PAR-17-218)
  • NCI: Leveraging Population-based Cancer Registry Data to Study Health Disparities (R21) (PA-17-288), (R01) (PA-17-289)
  • NIAAA: Specialized Alcohol Research Centers (P50) (RFA-AA-18-001)
  • NCCIH: Behavioral Interventions for Prevention of Opioid Use Disorder or Adjunct to Medication Assisted Treatment-SAMHSA Opioid STR Grants (R21/R33) (RFA-AT-18-001)
  • OBSSR/NIDDK: Psychological, Behavioral, and Neurocognitive-Focused Ancillary Studies to the Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity in Humans Consortium (MoTrPAC) (U01) (RFA-DK-17-009)
  • NIH: Addressing Suicide Research Gaps: Aggregating and Mining Existing Data Sets for Secondary Analyses (R01) (RFA-MH-18-400) [OBSSR, NIMH, NCCIH, NIAAA, NIDA]
  • NHLBI: Catalyzing Innovation in Late Phase Clinical Trial Design and Statistical Analysis Plans Resource Access (X01) (PAR-17-294)

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Posted in Issue 11 (May 30), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

Gopal Khanna Named AHRQ Director

Gopal Khanna has been appointed to lead the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Khanna was most recently the Director of Illinois’ Data Analytics Healthcare and Human Services Innovation Incubator and served as Minnesota’s first Chief Information Officer. He also served in senior policy positions during the George W. Bush administration. Khanna succeeds Sharon Arnold, AHRQ’s Deputy Director, who served as Acting Director for the agency after the departure of Andrew Bindman during the Presidential transition.

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Posted in Issue 10 (May 16), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

Preventive Services Task Force Accepting Nominations

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is accepting nominations for new members. The Task Force, which is administered by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), makes evidence-based recommendations about the effectiveness of various clinical preventive services, including screening, counselling, medication.

Candidates are particularly sought with expertise in public health, health equity, applying science to health policy, behavioral medicine, and communication of scientific findings to multiple audiences. Nominations are due by June 15, 2017. More information is available in the Federal Register notice.

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Posted in Issue 9 (May 2), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

Funding Opportunity Announcements

  • AHRQ: Developing New Clinical Decision Support to Disseminate and Implement Evidence-Based Research Findings (R18) (PA-17-261)
  • AHRQ: Scaling Established Clinical Decision Support to Facilitate the Dissemination and Implementation of Evidence-Based Research Findings (R18) (PA-17-260)
  • NIFA: Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (USDA-NIFA-AFRI-006354)

NIH opportunities:

  • NIA: Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging (K76) (RFA-AG-18-006)
    NIA: Coordinating Center for Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Centers (U24) (RFA-AG-18-008)
  • NICHD: Promoting NICHD Areas of Research for HIV/AIDS in Maternal and Child Health (R01) (PA-17-262)
  • NIMH: Initiation of a Mental Health Family Navigator Model to Promote Early Access, Engagement and Coordination of Needed Mental Health Services for Children and Adolescents (R01) (PAR-17-265)
  • NIMH: Innovative Mental Health Services Research Not Involving Clinical Trials (R01) (PAR-17-264)
  • NIMH: Pilot Studies to Test the Initiation of a Mental Health Family Navigator to Promote Early Access, Engagement and Coordination of Needed Mental Health Services for Children and Adolescents (R34) (PAR-17-266)

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Posted in Issue 9 (May 2), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

HHS Secretary Appears Before House Appropriations Subcommittee, Suggests NIH Budget Cuts to Come From “Efficiencies” in Indirect Costs

On March 29, newly appointed Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) former Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) made his first appearance before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. Welcoming the Secretary, Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) began the hearing by pointing out that the proposed cuts in the Budget Blueprint (aka “skinny budget”) released by the Administration on March 16 “are extensive and span the reach of [the] agency.” Cole asked Price how the Department intends to solve “some of the challenges” the budget poses to HHS, including those related to the Indian Health Services. He emphasized the subcommittee’s need to understand the detail of the cuts proposed, as well as any proposed downgrading or elimination of agency missions. (more…)

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Posted in Issue 7 (April 4), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

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