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Shuttering AHRQ Would Undermine Important Safety Net Research

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2012

Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and Chief Executive Officer
National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems

WASHINGTON—”Terminating the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), as House appropriators propose, would badly undermine important research on health care quality, disparities in care and patient safety – research that benefits our nation’s most vulnerable people.

“NAPH members strongly support AHRQ research and partner with the agency on initiatives to find and use best practices for improving quality and value at safety net institutions. Examples are plentiful. AHRQ funding has supported the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center’s Project ECHO, which remotely connects urban medical center disease experts with rural general practitioners and community health workers to care for the chronically ill and others who lack access to specialists. Boston Medical Center’s Project RED has re-engineered workflows to improve patient safety and decrease readmissions. This AHRQ-funded study is being replicated in organizations across the country.

“We must not let this misguided move against AHRQ set back efforts to improve the safety, quality, and effectiveness of care. Safety net providers’ innovative work to end health care disparities and ensure access to care for all people, regardless of ability to pay, demands robust federal support and a strong national commitment to the safety net.”

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About the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH)
NAPH represents safety net hospitals and health systems that provide high volumes of care to all patients, regardless of ability to pay. For more than 30 years, NAPH has advocated on behalf of its members on such issues as Medicaid, Medicare, and access to care for vulnerable populations. NAPH also helps members develop innovative, high-quality, cost-effective care delivery. For more information, visit http://www.naph.org/.

Media Contact:
Carl Graziano
(202) 585-0102

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