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Closing the gap in healthcare disparities through dissemination and implementation of patient centered outcomes research

May 03, 2013

Heads up Network research faithful – AHRQ has done it again with another great funding opportunity to “identify effective strategies to reduce healthcare disparities in racial and ethnic minority populations in under-resourced healthcare settings, with a particular focus on strategies for stakeholder engagement and shared decision making specific to health care delivery systems, clinicians, and patients.” This is right in your wheelhouse, oh ye researchers who follow the Network. Do us proud and apply for this important opportunity. Here is an abbreviated description from the AHRQ announcement. The complete description can be found here.

Funding Opportunity Description

  • This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) solicits U18 Research Demonstration Cooperative Agreement applications from institutions to establish and engage relationships with relevant and diverse stakeholders to identify effective strategies to reduce racial/ethnic healthcare disparities through shared decision making and through the translation, dissemination, and implementation of patient centered outcomes research (PCOR) findings. Under the U18 mechanism, AHRQ will have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.

Background:

  • Health disparities are defined as significant gaps or preventable differences in the overall rate of disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality, or survival rates in racial/ethnic minority populations as compared to the health status of the general population (Minority Health and Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000. Public Law 106-525, November 20, 2008.) The 2011 National Healthcare Disparities Report released in 2012 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) shows that access to health care has not been improving for most racial and ethnic groups in the years 2002 through 2008.  Fifty percent of the measures that tracked disparities in health care access showed no improvement between the years 2002 and 2008, while 40 percent of those measures were getting worse.

    According to a 2009 study by the Joint Center for Political and Economic studies, eliminating healthcare disparities for minorities would have reduced direct medical care expenditures by $229.4 billion between 2003 and 2006.  Many factors contribute to racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic healthcare disparities, including poverty, inadequate access to quality care, environmental threats, personal behaviors, and educational inequalities, among others.

    This FOA focuses on reducing health disparities for minorities in under-resourced settings.  Under-resourced settings are generally considered to be settings that provide care for people who have insurance with low reimbursement rates or those who have no insurance which leads to a relatively low level of resources to make the required capital and human resource investments.

Research Objectives:

  • This FOA supports a two-phase research proposal(s) to identify effective strategies to reduce healthcare disparities in racial and ethnic minority populations in under-resourced healthcare settings, with a particular focus on strategies for stakeholder engagement and shared decision making specific to health care delivery systems, clinicians, and patients. Applications must provide a timeline (in 12 month increments) that describes the work that will be completed as part of each phase. 

Knowledge to be gained/Expected Outcome:

  • Successful applicants will conduct an evaluation of the process for engaging stakeholders, (health care delivery systems, clinicians, and/or patients) and an evaluation of the effective strategies to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in an under-resourced setting.  Successful applicants are encouraged to develop a tool, such as a handbook, that will serve as a mechanism to communicate the work conducted by the applicant to stakeholders (health care delivery systems, clinicians, and/or patients) and to serve as a document that identifies effective strategies to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in an under-resourced setting.  The tool developed to disseminate knowledge gained from the work conducted as part of this funding announcement will provide a documented and replicable process for engaging stakeholders (health care delivery systems, clinicians, and/or patients) through shared decision making.  The specific information provided to clinicians will be applicable to a variety of clinicians (e.g., nurses, physicians, physician assistants, social workers, pharmacists).  Finally, the tool should also include a detailed implementation and evaluation plan for the suggested strategies in which stakeholders in diverse settings representing diverse patient populations can replicate. 
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