HHS shuts down medical guideline websites hosting over 20 years of data

The HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is no longer supporting the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality National Guideline Clearinghouse due to cuts in President Donald Trump’s federal budget, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. The NGC and the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse closed on July 16.

 Both websites hosted 20-plus years of data, including clinical guidelines vetted by medical specialty associations, professional societies, government agencies, healthcare organizations and plans.

The AHRQ stopped publishing summaries of new and updated evidence-based clinical practice guidelines in early July. The clearinghouse was free to use and included tools physicians could use to assess guidelines’ trustworthiness in relation to the Institute of Medicine’s guidelines.

More than 1,400 documents were hosted on the site, representing nearly 50 medical specialties. The ECRI Institute (previously known as the Emergency Care Research Institute), which runs the websites through a government contract, is exploring ways to keep the repository online. They’re looking for input from those who use the websites before moving forward with a solution.

President Trump’s proposed budget for the 2019 fiscal year would combine the AHRQ and NIH to form a new agency called the National Institute for Research and Quality.

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