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LINTHICUM, MD, July 10, 2009--The American Urological Association (AUA) is pleased to announce its support of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Act of 2009 introduced by Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Kent Conrad (D-ND). The legislation establishes a private, independent nonprofit corporation called the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute whose purpose is to improve U.S. healthcare by expanding the evidence base of treatments for a wide range of conditions and diseases. The AUA joins the Alliance for Specialty Medicine (of which the AUA is a founding member) and the Partnership to Improve Patient Care in supporting the bill.


A key provision of the legislation states that “the Institute is not permitted to mandate coverage, reimbursement, or other policies for any public or private payers.  Likewise, none of the research findings disseminated by the Institute should be policy recommendations or coverage guidelines for payment or treatment.” This provision eliminates a prime concern of most stakeholders who fear comparative effectiveness research (CER) will be used to limit access to or coverage for certain expensive medical treatments. This bill also includes language ensuring the inclusion of relevant specialists and subspecialists on expert advisory panels convened to conduct the research, and goes further to establish such panels to focus on rare diseases.


The proposed Institute would be governed by a Board consisting of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, the Director of the National Institutes of Health, and 18 members representing various public and private sector interests, including industry and physicians, to be appointed by the Comptroller General for six year terms.


“We support this bill and applaud Sens. Baucus and Conrad for their efforts to ensure that all stakeholders are brought to the table to discuss comparative effectiveness research,” said AUA Associate Executive Director of Health Policy Beth Kosiak, PhD. “As a medical specialty society, the AUA is uniquely positioned to identify evidence gaps in knowledge and provide further focus for the proposed Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.”


To view the letter of support to Senators Baucus and Conrad, please visit


The AUA also submitted a statement to the Federal Coordinating Council for CER with recommendations. To view that statement, please visit:


Please contact Lacey Dean at 410-689-4054 to schedule an interview with Beth Kosiak, PhD, AUA Associate Executive Director of Health Policy.


About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is the pre-eminent professional organization for urologists, with more than 16,000 members throughout the world. An educational nonprofit organization, the AUA pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care by carrying out a wide variety of programs for members and their patients.

Lacey Dean, AUA