HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will end its Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program as of June 30, with other federal agencies expected to take on such research in the future.
AHRQ ending emergency-preparedness program
AHRQ began doing the research about 10 years ago, but over time the agencies requesting the research have increased their capacity to do it on their own, said Dr. David Meyers, director of AHRQ's Center for Primary Care, Prevention and Clinical Partnerships, which oversees the program.
The move, which has been under discussion for about two years, won't save AHRQ money because its partners generally funded the research, and staffers who worked on the research will move to other projects, Meyers said. Three of the largest partners in AHRQ's public health emergency preparedness research are HHS' Office for the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Homeland Security Department, he said.
One of AHRQ's bigger projects was the development of the National Hospital Available Beds for Emergencies and Disasters System, a sustainable, bed-availability reporting system. Two projects now under way will continue to completion after the program has closed, Meyers said. AHRQ “is confident” that the other federal organizations can absorb its work effectively, he said.
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