Lack of Funding to Shutter National Guidelines, Quality Measures Clearinghouses

Posted May 23, 2018

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) will be cutting off access to two databases intended to promote evidence-based decision making in healthcare. The resources contained in the National Guidelines Clearinghouse (NGC) and the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse (NQMC) will no longer be available when federal funding runs out on July 16.

The clearinghouses, which were set up more than two decades ago, are central sites intended to help hospitals, clinicians, and other healthcare professionals access detailed, evidence-based information that can be used to develop policies, create clinical treatment plans, and objectively measure quality outcomes.

Announcements posted on both websites stated that AHRQ had received “expressions of interest from stakeholders interested in carrying on” the clearinghouses’ work, but it remains unclear whether resources like the NGC and NQMC will be available again. AHRQ also stated that it “has not yet determined whether, or to what extent, the agency would have an ongoing role if a stakeholder were to continue to operate the [clearinghouses].”

Because of this, neither site is accepting new guidelines or quality measure sets. However, new and updated evidence-based clinical practice guidelines will be posted to the NGC until July 2.