Medical groups urge Congress to reauthorize PCORI

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Medical researchers and disease advocates are closely watching bills in Congress to reauthorize the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, a federally-backed nonprofit research organization focused on healthcare improvement, reports Science.

PCORI was created under the ACA in 2010 to research the benefits of established medical treatments. The group's original charter — slated to expire Sept. 30 — was temporarily extended until Dec. 20 without funding mechanisms.

Two bills proposed in the House would reauthorize the institute for three to seven years with few other changes. A bill introduced in the Senate would establish PCORI for another 10 years, establish a research advisory panel and promote more short-term projects, among other initiatives.

Many medical groups and researchers are calling for PCORI's continuation, saying projects funded by the nonprofit are already having positive effects on care delivery. PCORI has received about $480 million annually since 2014 to fund more than 700 research projects.

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