An institute is supposed to use the money to see whether treatments are worth the cost.

Many U.S. employers are supposed to pay their first round of Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fees by July 31. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) calls for insurers, sponsors of self-funded plans, and sponsors of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) to pay the fee to finance the operations of PCORI.

PCORI awards grants to researchers who compare the effectiveness of existing medical treatments.

Employers with plan years that ended from Oct. 1, 3012, through Jan. 1, 2013, had to make their first PCORI payments last year. Meanwhile, employers with plan years that ended Jan. 2 or later will be making their first PCORI payments this year.

Employers can use three different methods for calculating the number of lives subject to the fee. They are supposed to file the fee using Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 720.

Many benefits and compliance advisors are using the looming PCORI fee payment deadline as a chance to connect with clients. The list of organizations using PCORI information to connect includes United Benefit Advisors, CBIZ Inc. and O’Connor Davies.

See also: 

So much for PPACA effectiveness research

PPACA research initiative draws fire for slow start