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Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
Finding out what works in health care is critical in an era of limited resources, increasing
demand for health care, a rapidly aging population, and soaring costs. Understanding the
benefits and risks of available treatments and knowing which treatments result in improved
patients are essential to providing quality health care.
Congress created the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) in 1989 to
the quality, effectiveness, and appropriateness of health care and access to that care. Projects in
the Medical Treatment Effectiveness Program (MEDTEP) are designed to determine the
strategies that are most effective and cost effective for preventing, diagnosing,
treating, and managing clinical conditions.
MEDTEP has four essential elements: research, development of data for research,
development of clinical practice guidelines, and
dissemination of information to health care practitioners, consumers, insurers, employers,
policymakers, and others.
An important aspect is disseminating new scientific information about what procedures or
services are most effective
for specific conditions and populations. AHCPR expects these efforts to help reduce health
uncertainty, minimize inappropriate variations in practice, and enable patients to become more
participants in the selection and use of health care resources.
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