AHCPR: House Subcommittee Renames, Revamps Health Agency
The House Commerce health and environment subcommittee unanimously passed a bill yesterday that would rename and redefine the mission of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), Congress Daily reports. Originally created in 1989 to "produce practice 'guidelines' to improve the outcomes of medical interventions," the House slashed the agency's funding three years ago -- some say at the behest of a group of Texas surgeons -- after it published a guideline questioning the effectiveness of surgery to relieve back pain. Under the measure, the AHCPR would be renamed the Agency for Health Research and Quality, and the agency's efforts would be directed toward working with the private sector. Subcommittee Chair and bill sponsor Michael Bilirakis (R-FL) said that the measure "emphasizes the agency's non-regulatory role in building the science of health care quality" (Rovner, Congress Daily, 7/27).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.