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Performance Budget Submission for Congressional Justification

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Message from the Director

I am pleased to present the AHRQ Fiscal Year 2006 Performance Budget. We all benefit from safe, effective, and efficient health care. Our revised performance-based budget demonstrates accomplishments in these key areas within the resources entrusted to us. It also demonstrates our continued commitment to assuring sound investments in programs that will make a difference.

AHRQ's research provides the scientific foundation for the Nation's efforts to improve the quality, safety, and effectiveness and efficiency of health care. The Agency supports the work of health services researchers at the Nation's leading academic centers through extramural grants and contracts and maintains a rigorous intramural research program that collects and analyzes data to understand changes in health care quality, cost, use, and access. AHRQ also supports efforts to develop the tools and information used by the public and private sectors to measure and improve health care quality.

We are undertaking a series of state-of-the-science studies that review existing scientific information on which drugs work best, for which patients, and under what circumstances. Funding for the initiative was authorized by Section 1013 of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. This information will be disseminated in formats appropriate for several audiences, including patients, clinicians, and policymakers. The reports are developed under a priority list created from input from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the rest of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the private sector for the 10 top conditions affecting Medicare beneficiaries.

In addition, we have supported new investigator-initiated projects from the best and brightest health services researchers, and we have funded new targeted initiatives which will help ensure that Americans get high quality, safe health care. We also supported training programs that have helped nurture the careers of established health services researchers and given a boost to new investigators.

Our long-standing programs continue to inform health care decisions made at all levels of the health care system, while our newer programs are releasing findings that promise to have a significant impact on the health care system.

Looking ahead, I am confident that our future will be very bright and that we will have many more accomplishments to celebrate. The end result of our research will be measurable improvements in health care in America, gauged in terms of improved quality of life and patient outcomes, lives saved, and value gained for what we spend. I am proud of our accomplishments to date and look forward to building on our past successes to achieve new gains for the American people.

—Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D.
Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

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