42 USC 299a - General authorities

(a) In general 
In carrying out section 299 (b) of this title, the Director shall conduct and support research, evaluations, and training, support demonstration projects, research networks, and multidisciplinary centers, provide technical assistance, and disseminate information on health care and on systems for the delivery of such care, including activities with respect to
(1) the quality, effectiveness, efficiency, appropriateness and value of health care services;
(2) quality measurement and improvement;
(3) the outcomes, cost, cost-effectiveness, and use of health care services and access to such services;

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(4) clinical practice, including primary care and practice-oriented research;
(5) health care technologies, facilities, and equipment;
(6) health care costs, productivity, organization, and market forces;
(7) health promotion and disease prevention, including clinical preventive services;
(8) health statistics, surveys, database development, and epidemiology; and
(9) medical liability.
(b) Health services training grants 

(1) In general 
The Director may provide training grants in the field of health services research related to activities authorized under subsection (a) of this section, to include pre- and post-doctoral fellowships and training programs, young investigator awards, and other programs and activities as appropriate. In carrying out this subsection, the Director shall make use of funds made available under section 288 (d)(3) of this title as well as other appropriated funds.
(2) Requirements 
In developing priorities for the allocation of training funds under this subsection, the Director shall take into consideration shortages in the number of trained researchers who are addressing health care issues for the priority populations identified in section 299 (c)(1)(B) of this title and in addition, shall take into consideration indications of long-term commitment, amongst applicants for training funds, to addressing health care needs of the priority populations.
(c) Multidisciplinary centers 
The Director may provide financial assistance to assist in meeting the costs of planning and establishing new centers, and operating existing and new centers, for multidisciplinary health services research, demonstration projects, evaluations, training, and policy analysis with respect to the matters referred to in subsection (a) of this section.

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(d) Relation to certain authorities regarding social security 
Activities authorized in this section shall be appropriately coordinated with experiments, demonstration projects, and other related activities authorized by the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.] and the Social Security Amendments of 1967. Activities under subsection (a)(2) of this section that affect the programs under titles XVIII, XIX and XXI of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq., 1396 et seq., 1397aa et seq.] shall be carried out consistent with section 1142 of such Act [42 U.S.C. 1320b–12].
(e) Disclaimer 
The Agency shall not mandate national standards of clinical practice or quality health care standards. Recommendations resulting from projects funded and published by the Agency shall include a corresponding disclaimer.
(f) Rule of construction 
Nothing in this section shall be construed to imply that the Agencys role is to mandate a national standard or specific approach to quality measurement and reporting. In research and quality improvement activities, the Agency shall consider a wide range of choices, providers, health care delivery systems, and individual preferences.