How Well Does the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Fund Primary Care and Comparative Effectiveness Research?

  • Andrew Balster
  • Stephany Mazur
  • Andrew Bazemore
  • Daniel J. MerensteinEmail author
Concise Research Reports


In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) established the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to fund research, with an emphasis on comparative effectiveness research (CER), with the goal of helping patients make better informed healthcare decisions.1 CER is patient-centered research that relies on clinical epidemiology and medical decision making to improve evidence for clinicians and patients. The expectation was to reduce waste and improve healthcare outcomes.1 Given that primary care represents over half of all physician office visits,2 an important question is how well PCORI’s funding mirrors the distribution of where patients receive their care. After the first six rounds (2011–2014) of funding, it was identified that the majority of PCORI research did not have a primary care focus (19–32%).3Our objective was to evaluate funding from PCORI during 2015–2018 to determine if this has changed, and to determine the type and focus of...


Author Contribution

Dr. Merenstein had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. The data review was done by DM and Andrew Balster. All authors contributed to the planning of the review and in manuscript preparation.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Merenstein has previously applied for PCORI grants and has served on PCORI review committees. Additionally, Dr. Merenstein consulted for Bayer, Pharmavite, Reckitt Benckiser and Debevoise; Plimpton for probiotics and has received NIH and AHRQ grants. None of the consulting or grants were related to the subject of this manuscript. All remaining authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Balster
    • 1
  • Stephany Mazur
    • 2
  • Andrew Bazemore
    • 3
  • Daniel J. Merenstein
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Georgetown University School of MedicineWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  3. 3.Robert Graham Center for Policy StudiesWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Family MedicineGeorgetown University Medical CenterWashingtonUSA

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