Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Kent Conrad, D-N.D., introduced a bill that would create a nonprofit national institute tasked with establishing "national health care priorities" for comparative-effectiveness studies of diagnostics and medical therapies. Baucus said the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, which would be financed by public and private sectors, will not be in charge of creating specific health policies and will not function as a government agency.

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