Frequently Asked Questions

Check to find the answers to your questions about the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) programs and activities. You can search by category or key words. You can also send us your questions or website feedback here. We will respond to your requests based on the best available scientific evidence and research from our Agency.

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Periodically, the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) conducts workshops designed for health services researchers who have a background or interest in using national health surveys. Additionally webinars are offered on specific topics on a regular basis.

Information on upcoming workshops and webinars are available at MEPS Workshops & Events page.

The Effective Health Care (EHC) Program develops evidence reports, research summaries, tools, and other resources on a wide spectrum of topics, relevant to clinical, social science/behavioral, economic, and other health care organization and delivery issues. The reports and related resources may be used for informing and developing coverage decisions, quality measures, educational materials and tools, clinical practice guidelines, and research agendas. The EHC Program also develops new methods to improve how evidence synthesis is conducted.

To read the range of conditions researched in current and ongoing evidence reports, browse the EHC products by audience, type, or health topic categories.

The public can get involved in Effective Health Care (EHC) Program by suggesting topics for evidence reviews and providing comments on draft evidence reviews and other reports.

For more information, visit the Get Involved page on the EHC website.

The Effective Health Care (EHC) Program improves the quality of health care by providing the best available evidence on the outcomes, benefits and harms, and appropriateness of drugs, devices, and health care services and by helping health care professionals, patients, policymakers, and health care systems make informed health care decisions. The EHC Program achieves this goal by developing evidence reports in partnership with health professional societies, health systems, consumer organizations, and other stakeholders.

Learn about the history of the EHC Program and its projects, including the following:

Numerous former projects and initiatives have also contributed to the EHC Program since its authorization.

The SafetyNet Monitoring project was a joint initiative led by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in response to a 2000 report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that described America's health care safety net as "intact but endangered" and recommended that "...concerted efforts be directed to improving this Nation's capacity and ability to monitor the changing structure, capacity, and financial stability of the safety net to meet the health care needs of the uninsured and other vulnerable populations."

This initiative is no longer active.

Information on the SafetyNet Monitoring project has been archived.

Grants and cooperative agreements both are financial assistance support mechanisms. Under both mechanisms, money and/or other direct assistance is provided to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity in support of a public purpose and not for the direct benefit of the government.

A grant is used whenever the awarding agency anticipates no substantial programmatic involvement with the recipient during performance of the financially assisted activities.

A cooperative agreement is used when there will be substantial Federal programmatic involvement with the recipient during performance of the financially assisted activities. Substantial involvement means that OPDIV program staff will collaborate or participate in project or program activities as specified in the Notice of Award.

Unless otherwise specified, the use of the term "grant" includes cooperative agreements as well as grants.

In the rare instances that a PHS 2590 is to be submitted rather than an RPPR (Research Performance Progress Report), grantees are to follow the instructions posted on the AHRQ website at Post-Award Grant Management, Noncompeting Application Requirements.

Also refer to the instructions for PHS 2590 on the NIH Grants site.

Yes. Prevention TaskForce is available at:

Prevention TaskForce is a quick hands-on tool designed to help primary care clinicians identify the screening, counseling, and preventive medication services that are appropriate for their patients. Prevention TaskForce is available both as a mobile application and a Web-based tool. It is based on all current recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and can be searched by specific patient characteristics, such as age, sex, and select behavioral risk factors.

Unless instructed otherwise by a term of award, the majority of non-competing applications submitted to AHRQ are done so using the "Research Performance Progress Report" (RPPR) module of the eRA Commons. The exception is recipients of multi-year funded (MYF) awards (awards in which the budget and project periods are the same and are longer than 12 months).

For further details, refer to the Notice published in the NIH Guide on October 17, 2014.

AHRQ prior approval is required for the transfer of the legal and administrative responsibility for a grant-supported project from one legal entity to another before expiration of the approved project period. Approval is not automatic. A transfer application should be submitted at least 2 to 3 months prior to the PI's actual move to the new institution to ensure that the transaction, if approved, can be completed by the date of transfer. Transfers that are not requested in a timely manner may jeopardize funding of the project in that they may result in disapproval of the request or significant delays in processing.

The decision to authorize transfer of the grant will be based upon the following criteria: (1) the project has been relinquished by the original institution, (2) the facilities and resources at the new location allow for the successful performance of the project, and (3) the investigator plans no significant change in research objectives and level of expenditures from those described in the previously approved project. If the proposed change of institution does not meet these criteria, competitive review will be required.

Note that the original grantee institution is not required to relinquish the grant simply because the PI changes institutions. With the exception of Career Development Awards or individual Fellowship awards, the grantee may, instead, seek AHRQ's prior approval for a change of PI.

If the original grantee institution decides to relinquish the grant and allow it to be considered for transfer, information is needed from both the original grantee and the "new" grantee, as follows:

From the Original Grantee Institution:

  • Completed Form Public Health Service (PHS) 3734 "Official Statement Relinquishing Interests and Rights in PHS Research Project" (PDF).
    Note that the estimated unexpended balance to be reported on the relinquishing statement is to include only funds from the budget period being relinquished, it is not to include the total balance from all grant years (e.g. carryover funds). The form must be signed by an authorized institutional official. The form should be submitted electronically through the eRA Commons by a signing official. Acceptance of a relinquishing statement by AHRQ does not guarantee approval of a transfer application.
  • Note that the original grantee institution is also required to submit a final Federal Financial Report and Final Inventions Statement, but these are not due until 90 days after the end date of the final budget period. Only the Form PHS 3734 is required prior to transfer.

From the "New"Grantee Institution:

A complete Standard Form (SF) 424 R&R application.

Please type "CHANGE OF GRANTEE INSTITUTION" in capital letters across the top of the face page. The application needs to contain all of the information requested in the standard (i.e., not modular) SF 424 R&R instructions. Portions of the original application may be inserted for those sections of the application that will not change as a result of the transfer (e.g., often, large portions of the Research Plan are unchanged and can be copied from the original application. Any sections that change, however, such as the "Resources and Environment" and human subjects sections, need to be changed in the new application. If there will be a change in scope to the project due to the move, peer review of the application may be required). The application is to include:

  • A detailed budget for the initial (transfer) budget period and, when future year commitments exist, detailed budgets for future budget periods. Each budget period request is to be based upon the originally committed direct cost funding level(s). In the event of a mid-budget period (or "partial year") transfer, the initial budget is to be based upon the direct costs being relinquished by the original institution as reflected on Form PHS 3734.
  • Justification when requesting the transfer of a budget period with less than 3 months remaining; note that transfers proposed to occur within 3 months of the end date of the budget period may be negotiated to correspond with the anniversary date of the next budget period.
  • If the grant currently includes salary support for the PI or any other transferring member of the project and continued salary support is not required at the new institution, a statement regarding the proposed rebudgeting of these funds is required.
  • A description of the facilities at the new institution and a brief description of the probable effect of the move on the project.
  • A list (under Resources and Environment) of all equipment to be transferred from the original grantee institution which was purchased in whole or in part with grant funds. Such a listing in the application represents the new institution's acceptance of title to the transferred equipment.
  • A comprehensive progress report which will serve in lieu of a final progress report from the original institution, in addition to the overall research plan of the project as detailed in the SF 424 R&R instructions.
  • A statement concerning the current research plan and an indication of whether the original plan has changed. If changed, provide details.
  • Biographical sketches of all new key personnel to be associated with the project.
  • Up-to-date other support for all key personnel.
  • Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval if human subjects are involved. Generally, the grant will not be transferred until this is in place.
  • For K awards—A statement from a qualified sponsor at the new institution in accordance with instructions in the grant application.

The above information, in PDF format, is to be emailed to the AHRQ grants management specialist listed on the Notice of Award.  Do not send a courtesy copy to the assigned AHRQ Program Official (PO). The Grants Management Specialist, upon determining that the transfer application is complete, will forward it to the PO for review and recommendation. The application will be reviewed to determine if the transfer is appropriate and to determine the level of AHRQ funding.

The project may be supported at the new (or 'gaining') institution in an amount not to exceed that previously approved for DIRECT COSTS for the remaining project period. Applicable F&A, based on the gaining institution's negotiated facilities and administrative (F&A) rate agreement, will be awarded provided funds are available and that any total cost cap imposed by the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) under which the award was originally issued is not exceeded.

Note: When a transfer involves a partial year, the total amount awarded for direct costs at both institutions may not exceed the total direct cost funding level for that single budget period. For example, if the awarded direct costs for the budget period issued in FY2015 amount to $100,000 and the losing institution indicates in its Relinquishment Statement that it has $40,000 of direct costs available for transfer, then the gaining institution's direct cost budget cannot exceed $40,000. The award of F&A to the gaining institution will be based on the gaining institution's negotiated federal F&A rate agreement, availability of funds, and with the total cost cap imposed by the FOA in mind, because the total costs awarded to the gaining institution, combined with the total costs that remain at the losing institution, may not exceed any FOA-imposed total cost cap. If the gaining institution is not entitled to all of the F&A costs relinquished by the losing institution, then those funds will revert to the Federal government.

Unless the transfer grant (or a subsequent non-competing continuation award resultant of the transfer) involves current fiscal year funds, a Notice of Award to transfer a grant will generally not be issued during the month of September; transfer applications received after July 15 will be reviewed and action taken after October 1.

Please contact the assigned AHRQ Grants Management Specialist listed on the NoA to discuss any issues or concerns prior to submission.

Ask a question, report a problem, or give us your opinion about a specific AHRQ program.