Thursday, July 19, 2012

AHRQ Questions

The Incidental Economist is writing about a House Bill to remove AHRQ as an agency and to remove economic research from the National Institutes of Health. 
I am of decidedly mixed feelings. I can definitely see how the focus in the NIH should be on the science. Single, focused mandates can improve the ability of an agency to perform a critical task.

But that, if anything, is why AHRQ is critical. If we want to remove economic research from the NIH (to improve focus and metrics) then it would make a second agency, with the appropriate mandate, even more important. This is very similar to the FDA, which focuses on safety, needing a partner organization that is considering cost.

So that rather inclines me towards the view that I like the improved NIH focus but see pairing it with the elimination of AHRQ as being a very questionable decision.

NOTE: the preceding was entirely personal opinion. It does not represent any institution that I have been affiliated with or will be affiliated with. I have received funding from AHRQ.

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