Thursday, October 19, 2017

Very Brief Blog: New Leader Promises New Direction at AHRQ

On October 17, 2017, the new leader of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) published a detailed blog on his plans for innovating and rebooting the agency.

The blog is here.   Open access coverage at Fierce Healthcare is here.  The new director, Gopal Khanna MBA,  headed a project called "FRAMEWORK" at Illinois HHS, part of an innovation incubator. 

Khanna has a lengthy Wikipedia page (here; cloud here; LinkedIn here).   He took the leadership role at AHRQ in May, 2017.

Khanna's four talking points are:
  1. More development and integration of data platforms - Digital Health meets AHRQ.
  2. Catalyze "Learning Healthcare Systems."
  3. Engage operational leaders; convert innovation into practice & operations.
  4. Patient-centered care.  Integrate federal, state, community, and other levels.
At CMS, CMMI is also seeking a reboot, a sort of vision for CMMI 2.0 (here).


AHRQ also supports the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), whose recommendations affect required health insurance preventive services (here).   

USPSTF released updated cervical cancer screening guidelines in draft form recently, and is expected to release new guidelines for BRCA screening in the coming weeks.  To date, USPSTF has not dealt (a) with BRCA screening in women not at elevated risk or (b) breast cancer related gene panel screening, which has become common.