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Request for Proposals
Solicitation No. AHRQ-02-0003 (Full and Open Competition)
Proposals Due: March 1, 2002 (12:00 Noon)
Contracting Office: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Division of
Contracts Management, 2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 502, Rockville, MD
The synopsis for this requirement was published in the Federal Business
on January 3, 2002. The solicitation issue date is January 18, 2002. Full text
can be downloaded from the AHRQ Web site. Select to access Downloading
Printed copies are not available. If you have any trouble downloading this
solicitation, please contact Sharon Williams, Contracting Officer, (301)
427-1781; or by E-mail: SWilliam@ahrq.gov.
Cost-reimbursement, task order type contracts are contemplated for a period
of 5 years. It is anticipated that multiple awards will be made (approximately
Background and Purpose
The purpose of this solicitation is to continue and expand the impact of the
Evidence-based Practice Centers
Program (EPCs)-a flagship program of the Agency for Healthcare Research and
Quality (AHRQ). The EPCs will provide a variety of services and products,
including development of evidence reports and technology assessments. The
reports and assessments are systematic reviews based on rigorous, comprehensive
syntheses and analyses of relevant scientific literature, emphasizing explicitly
detailed documentation of methods, rationales, and assumptions.
Services required by the Federal Government under this contract will be
obtained on an as-needed basis through issuance of Task Orders. Task Orders may
include multiyear periods of performance, incrementally funded on an annual
basis. Multiyear task orders may address a variety of assignments, including
development of brief as well as comprehensive evidence reports and technology
assessments. The assignments may have tight and/or overlapping deadlines by
which specific products will be required. In addition to multiyear Task Orders,
AHRQ also may award Task Orders that address only single topics for development
of evidence reports, performance of a special analyses, etc.
EPC reports may relate to clinical topics, focus on organizational and health
care delivery matters or financing issues, or present findings and conclusions
of cost effectiveness studies. Whether single topic-specific Task Orders or
assignments made under a multiyear Task Order, periods of performance for
development of evidence reports will vary, ranging from 30 days to up to 12
months, depending on the complexity of the topic or depth of review required.
EPCs will be expected to meet a variety of due dates without routine need for
extensions of time. EPCs also will be expected to have the methodological
competence and management flexibility to satisfy a range of solo and multiple
tasks that need to be performed concurrently.
As noted above, the EPCs may be tasked to provide a range of related
services. In addition to systematic literature reviews and analyses, an EPC
- Perform special analyses, such as meta-analyses, cost effectiveness
analyses, decision analyses.
- Perform special cost effectiveness studies.
- Update EPC reports and assessments.
- Undertake methods research.
- Collaborate with academic medical centers, payors and employer groups,
non-profits, and other private sector entities in, for example, developing
evidence-based curricula, providing training opportunities in systematic
reviews and assessments to junior faculty, Fellows, etc. from other academic
institutions, or in conducting educational sessions on interpretation and
understanding of research studies.
- Provide technical assistance to organizations that seek to use EPC
evidence reports and technology assessments as a basis for developing tools to
enhance the quality and effectiveness of patient care.
- Design special dissemination strategies for EPC products.
- Scan published and grey literature to identify topics that may be ripe for
development of an evidence report or technology assessment.
- Evaluate the use and impact of evidence reports and technology assessment
on the quality, outcomes, and costs of healthcare.
- Other assignments as requested.
Evidence reports and technology assessments may require systematic reviews
and analyses of effectiveness and/or cost effectiveness of established medical
management of specified clinical conditions, of established or new technology
assessments, of clinical preventive medicine, and established, as well as new
uses of, complementary and alternative therapies.
The objectives of the renewed EPC Program (EPC II) are:
- Continuation of the methodologically rigorous systematic reviews and
analyses of the scientific literature on clinical, organizational and
financing systems topics. Topics may be generated by AHRQ to meet its
programmatic initiatives or requested by public and private-sector
organizations that will then be expected to serve as AHRQ's Partners in EPC
projects. Products of the reviews will reflect the complexity of the topics
and the needs of AHRQ and its partners-ranging from comprehensive evidence
reports that may require 6 to 12 months for completion, to more targeted and
limited literature search and analysis that must be completed within 90 days.
- Expansion of the EPC portfolio to include updating of prior EPC evidence
- Expansion of EPC technical assistance to professional organizations,
employers, providers, policymakers, etc. to better understand the methodology
and conclusions in the EPC evidence reports in order to facilitate translation
of the reports into quality improvement tools, educational programs, and
- Expanded support for EPC methods research. The related task orders may
include, for example, collaboration with organizations that focus on quality
and patient safety, or collaboration with academic centers and/or professional
societies to produce evidence-based curricula, as well as collaboration with
other organizations that are pursuing methodologically sound systematic
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Current as of January 2002