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Robert Wachter professor and chief of the division of hospital medicine at the University of California

PCORI, innovation efforts expected to continue

By Maureen McKinney
Posted: November 7, 2012 - 3:00 pm ET

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Following President Barack Obama's Election Day victory, things are likely to continue on largely as planned at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation and other entities created by the healthcare reform law, experts say.

PCORI, an independent not-for-profit, was tasked by the law with promoting comparative-effectiveness research, while the CMMI is set to receive more than $10 billion over the next decade to promote innovation and explore new care delivery models.

Looming budget talks might threaten at least some of the groups' funding but not enough to change their course, said Dr. Robert Wachter, professor and chief of the division of hospital medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

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“I wouldn't be surprised if some of the money for these programs is cut a little to reach a deficit deal, but the program elements will not go away,” Wachter said.

In July, a House Appropriations Subcommittee voted to defund several groups established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the CMMI, PCORI and the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

Stuart Guterman, vice president of the Commonwealth Fund and executive director of its Commission on a High Performance Health System, said he hoped Republicans would move away from such tactics in the future.

“It would be much more productive to get together and set appropriate priorities,” Guterman said. “If you think there are ways to improve the ACA, work with folks who are trying to implement it but don't stand in their way.”

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