Notice Number: NOT-HS-19-007
Release Date: January 11, 2019
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
The purpose of this Notice is to inform the research community that the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) will be phasing out the Inter-agency Agreement (IAA) it has maintained for the purchase of identifiable Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) data used on AHRQ-supported grants.
Historically, the IAA that AHRQ maintained with CMS for the purchase of identifiable CMS data for AHRQ grantees had provided a benefit to AHRQ, CMS, and grantees using identifiable CMS data. However, grant applicants can now obtain accurate costs estimates for identifiable CMS data and pay directly for such data (see the Research Data Assistance Center (ResDAC) website: https://www.resdac.org/). For this reason, applicants will be required to request and budget for the purchase of identifiable CMS data within grant application proposals, just as they currently do for non-identifiable CMS data or for data from other sources.
This is a change from AHRQ’s long-standing procedure of having applicants describe identifiable CMS data needs and their estimated costs in the grant application narrative but not including the cost of identifiable CMS data on the detailed budget page. Effective beginning with the February 2019 Application Cycle, applicants must include identifiable CMS data costs within the requested application budget. Applicants must account for associated indirect costs, and abide by any total cost cap imposed by an AHRQ funding opportunity announcement (FOA).
For new (competing) applications selected for funding in FY2019 (and beyond) that were submitted before the February 2019 Application Submission Cycle: if an application indicates a need for identifiable CMS data without including the costs in the requested budget, and if there is room under the applicable FOA’s total cost cap, AHRQ will include both direct costs and associated indirect costs for identifiable CMS data in the grant award, and in future year committed levels if appropriate. However, if there is not sufficient room under the applicable FOA’s total cost cap to include both direct costs and associated indirect costs for identifiable CMS data in the grant award, AHRQ will use the IAA to pay for identifiable CMS data in the current budget period and in future budget periods if necessary. The decision to either include funds in a grant award or to use the IAA to support the costs of identifiable CMS data will be at AHRQ’s discretion. In no case will the total costs of a grant award plus the costs of identifiable CMS data be allowed to exceed any total cost limits imposed by an FOA.
For new (competing) applications selected for funding that were submitted during or after the February 2019 Application Submission Cycle: applicants are required to include the cost of identifiable CMS data and applicable indirect costs in the budget, and justify the cost in the budget justification. The applicants are required to adhere to the total cost cap imposed by the applicable AHRQ FOA.
For non-competing continuation awards that had previously identified the need to use identifiable CMS data that were awarded under the previous identifiable CMS data policy, AHRQ will continue paying for identifiable CMS data under the IAA in FY2019 and beyond, if necessary.
For non-competing continuation awards that had not previously identified a need for identifiable CMS data but now have a need for it, grantees may propose rebudgeting within the original committed level of funding to accommodate these costs (both direct and indirect). No additional funds will be awarded for this purpose.
Situations involving identifiable CMS data other than those described above may arise. In such instances, grantees are required, in accordance with 45 CFR 75.308, to submit a prior approval request to the attention of the AHRQ grants management specialist assigned to the grant. AHRQ will review the request and determine the most appropriate way to proceed.
Please direct all inquiries to: