Funding opportunity to study costs associated with transforming primary care

December 20, 2012

Network faithful – gotta jump on this one. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is making funding available to analyze and describe the costs associated with successful efforts to transform primary care practice. And… since this is the wave of the future ya gotta pay attention.

Background (from the AHRQ announcement):
Revitalizing the Nation’s primary care system is foundational to achieving high-quality, accessible, efficient health care for all Americans. The primary care medical home, also referred to as the patient centered medical home (PCMH), advanced primary care, and the healthcare home, is one promising model for transforming the organization and delivery of primary care.  AHRQ had defined the PCMH as a model of the organization of primary care that delivers the core functions of primary health care encompassing five functions and attributes:  patient-centered, comprehensive, coordinated, accessible care, and a system-wide focus on quality and safety.  A great deal of quality improvement, experimentation, demonstration, and research is currently being conducted around this model and other similar frameworks to improve the delivery of primary care.  To date, much of the evaluation of this work has focused on the success of improving quality outcomes.  Additional critical work has focused on increasing understanding of how best to implement and sustain primary care practice change.  This includes AHRQ’s 2010 R18 RFA “Transforming Primary Care Practice”. To date, however, less attention has been given to exploring the costs associated with supporting and maintaining systematic redesign of primary care practice.

Knowledge to be achieved:
With this announcement, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is interested in adding knowledge about the direct and indirect costs associated with supporting primary care transformation.  While proposed projects may utilize the methods of cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness, or cost-utility analyses on the support and maintenance of primary care transformation, given the dearth of current valid information available, AHRQ also is interested in receiving proposals to document the direct and indirect financial costs shouldered by small and medium sized practices in becoming a patient centered medical home and the direct and indirect external costs involved in successful primary care practice facilitation programs. 

Specific Objectives of this FOA:
The objective of this initiative is to be able to provide stakeholders, including independent primary care practices, health care systems, health care payers, and other health care system decision makers with information about the costs of transformative, system-level primary care practice redesign and implementation.

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