AcademyHealth is deeply troubled by the president’s budget and the signal it sends to the nation’s scientific enterprise. Among the proposals included in the document are devastating cuts to vital health and health research agencies, such as a nearly $6 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), while also folding the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the only federal agency with a mandate to conduct health services research, into a severely affected NIH.

The research, resources, tools, and datasets produced by these and other federal health and health research agencies targeted in the budget provide a critical public service, improving the safety and quality of health care Americans receive and helping us better understand how to make our health care system more effective and efficient.

As the professional society for health services and policy research, AcademyHealth is committed to ensuring that federal funding for health services research – the research that determines how to deliver care and cures most effectively, with the highest level of quality, and in the most efficient way – is supported and sustained. This important work deserves a dedicated entity whose focus is solely on health services research, and we need an accountable authority to ensure this unique research continues.

Evidence matters, and health services research provides the best possible insights into solving the complex problems facing our $3.2 trillion health care industry. AcademyHealth stands ready, as always, to champion health services research and make clear the risks of underinvestment.