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Request for Proposals
Solicitation No. AHRQ-02-0006 (Full and Open Competition, with recommended
small business goals)
Proposals Due: May 17, 2002, 2:00 pm (Extended from April 23)
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 on Federal Business
Opportunities on March 5, 2002. The solicitation issue date is March 20, 2002.
Select for Downloading
Information. Printed copies are not available. If you have any trouble
downloading this solicitation, please contact Sharon Williams, Contracting
Officer, at SWilliam@ahrq.gov.
It is anticipated that a 5-year, cost plus fixed fee, completion-type
contract will be awarded under this solicitation.
Background and Purpose
AHRQ sponsors and conducts research that develops and presents evidence-based
information on healthcare outcomes, quality, cost, use and access. AHRQ also
sponsors and conducts research on existing as well as innovative technologies,
and conducts research on methods for measuring quality and strategies for
improving quality. Included in AHRQ's mandate is support of synthesis and
dissemination of available scientific evidence, including dissemination research
and analytic methods or systems for rating the strength of scientific evidence.
The research findings and syntheses help providers, clinicians, payors,
patients, and policymakers in making evidence-based decisions regarding the
quality and effectiveness of health care.
In June 1997, AHRQ (then, AHCPR) established the Evidence-based Practice Center
Program (EPC Program) in its effort to improve the quality, effectiveness
and appropriateness of clinical practice. AHRQ awarded 5-year cost reimbursement
contracts to 12 institutions and designated them as Evidence-based Practice
Centers (EPCs). Since 1997, the EPCs have developed more than 80 evidence
reports and technology assessments on a wide spectrum of topics, both clinical
and policy-oriented. Visit http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/epcix.htm
for information about EPC evidence reports published since 1999.
The EPC evidence reports and technology assessments are used by systems of
care, provider societies, health plans, public and private purchasers, States,
and others, as a scientific foundation for development and implementation of
their own clinical practice guidelines, clinical pathways, review criteria,
performance measures, and other clinical quality improvements tools. EPC reports
related to the effectiveness or appropriateness of specific health care
technologies are used to inform treatment decisions and coverage or
On January 18, 2002, AHRQ released an RFP to re-compete the EPC contracts for
a second 5-year period of performance (EPC II). AHRQ anticipates award of 10-14
EPC contracts. Under the expanded EPC II program, the EPCs may be tasked to
provide a range of services. In addition to systematic literature reviews and
analyses, an EPC may:
- Perform special analyses, such as meta-analyses, cost effectiveness
analyses, decision analyses.
- Perform special cost studies.
- Update EPC reports and assessments.
- Undertake methods research.
- Teach principles of evidence-based systematic review methodology.
- Collaborate with academic medical centers, payors and employer groups,
non-profits, and other private sector entities in developing evidence-based
curricula, 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.
- Work with AHRQ's Partners (e.g., organizations whose topics are accepted
by AHRQ for an EPC evidence report or technology assessment) to design
effective strategies by which the Partners can disseminate and measure use of
Partner-developed products (e.g., clinical practice guidelines, review
criteria, performance measures, educational curricula, and other quality
improvement tools) that are based on EPC reports and assessments.
- Screen nominated topics to establish whether there is sufficient published
scientific evidence to support development of an EPC evidence report or
technology assessment, by performing preliminary literature searches and
evaluating the quality of such studies.
- Other assignments as requested.
The objectives for the EPC Coordinating Center are based on its primary
purpose, which is to function as an extension of the Agency in certain defined
areas. Specifically, the EPC Coordinating Center will (a) serve as a central
link between AHRQ, the EPCs, Partners (i.e., organizations become AHRQ Partners
when AHRQ accepts their nominated topics for an EPC evidence report or
technology assessment), researchers, providers, and others who are committed to
the organization and delivery of evidence-based health care; (b) provide
technical assistance to Partners on, for example, methods or mechanisms for
dissemination of Partner-developed products (e.g., clinical practice guidelines,
performance measures, educational criteria, etc.) that are based on EPC reports,
and methods by which Partners may measure use of these products, and the impact
of such use on clinical care; (c) collect and provide data to AHRQ for
monitoring EPC Program performance; (d) facilitate communication and sharing of
ideas between the EPCs; and (e) perform a convening role for conferences and
expert meetings. In addition to new EPCs identified in June/July 2002, the
Coordinating Center also will interact with current EPCs until their work for
AHRQ has been completed.
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Current as of April 2002