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Technical Assistance Conference Call
This document is a summary of a technical assistance teleconference call that took place on November 12, 2009, from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), on the Agency's Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs):
Coordinator: Welcome and thanks for standing by. At this time, I would like to inform all parties that they are in "listen" mode only. I'd like to also remind all parties that the call is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time. I'd now like to turn the call over to Francis. Thank you sir, you may begin.
Francis Chesley: Good afternoon and welcome. This is Francis Chesley at AHRQ. I direct the Office of Extramural Research, Education, and Priority Populations. Before we get started, I'm going to ask folks in the room here at AHRQ to go around and introduce themselves.
David Hsia: David Hsia (Scientific Contact)
Francis Chesley: This is the AHRQ team associated with these two Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs). Again, thank you for calling in today.
The purpose of today's call is to review the Medical Liability and Patient Safety Requests for Applications (RFAs) and answer submitted clarifying questions. If any statement I make today erroneously contradicts the RFAs, the instructions in the RFAs take precedence over my statements. First, I will provide a brief overview of the RFAs. Following that, I will go through submitted questions and provide answers. The two RFAs constitute components of a multipart initiative on patient safety and medical liability.
RFA-HS-10-021 supports demonstration projects to allow States and health care systems to develop, implement, and evaluate medical liability models that put patient safety first and work to reduce preventable injuries, foster better communication between doctors and their patients, and ensure that patients are compensated fairly and quickly and in a timely manner for medical injuries, while also reducing the incidence of unnecessary lawsuits and liability premiums. It uses the R18 Research Demonstration Grant Mechanism. An application responding to this RFA may request up to $3 million total. It may allocate this total across the three-year project period in accordance with the applicant's work plan. AHRQ plans to commit about $21 million to this RFA.
RFA-HS-10-022 solicits applications for planning grants from States and health care systems for patient safety and medical liability innovations that put patient safety first and work to reduce preventable injuries, foster better communication between doctors and their patients, and ensure that patients are compensated fairly and in a timely manner for medical injuries, while also reducing the incidence of unnecessary lawsuits and liability premiums. This RFA uses the R21 Planning Grant Mechanism. An application may request up to $300,000 for the one-year project period. AHRQ plans to commit about $4 million to this RFA.
Please note that both RFAs require a focus on both patient safety and medical liability in order to be eligible for consideration. AHRQ will publish an addendum to the RFAs clarifying this point. The addendum will be published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.
Turning to Eligible Institutions, you may submit an application if your Sponsoring Organization is either a State or a health care system. A "State" includes State governments, units of State governments, and established organizations of State governments. Both RFAs use Roemer's definition of a health system. According to Roemer, a health system has capacities (for example, hospitals and physicians), activities (for example, health services), interconnections (for example, financing, oversight, and management), and purpose. Its components might include multiple States, localities, Tribal governments, universities, colleges, hospitals, nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations, community-based organizations, and Federal agencies. Applicants to these RFAs must share a long-established, legal entity as sponsor and sufficient service volume to statistically power any proposed intervention. Applicant organizations must also be nonprofit entities. For-profit organizations or foreign institutions may participate in projects only as third parties.
Moving on to the Principal Investigator, any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed project as a Principal Investigator should work with their Sponsoring Organization to develop an application. AHRQ does not recognize multiple Principal Investigators on a single grant application. AHRQ encourages individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups as well as individuals with disabilities to apply as Principal Investigators. The RFAs expect a minimum time commitment of 20 percent annual effort from either the Principal Investigator or the Project Manager.
When you submit an application, use the SF424 (R&R) Application and Electronic Submission at http://www.grants.gov. To download the SF424 Application package and application guide for completing the SF424 forms for these RFAs, use the "Apply for Grants electronically" button in these RFAs or link to http://www.grants.gov/applicants/apply_for_grants.jsp. Please follow all directions provided on that Web site. AHRQ will not accept paper applications. Importantly, please note that a one-time registration is required for Institutions and the Principal Investigator at both http://www.grants.gov and on the NIH eRA Commons. See the RFAs for Web links to these registration requirements. Additionally, the RFAs summarize the application submission process.
In terms of peer review, applications that respond to the RFAs will undergo evaluation for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate scientific peer review group.
This concludes the overview of some specific elements of the RFAs, and I will now turn to submitted questions, read those questions, and provide answers. Please note that AHRQ has posted these questions along with answers on the agency Web site at http://www.ahrq.gov. Once on the agency Web site, select Funding Announcements to reach the questions and their answers.
Questions and Answers
Question 1: Does the prohibition on submitting an application that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial review mean that an applicant can only apply to either the R18 or the R21 RFA?
Question 2: Can an application propose only a patient safety intervention without a medical liability component or a medical liability intervention without a patient safety component?
Question 3: Who may apply for these grants?
Question 4: How does the Eligibility Information section describe established health care systems?
Question 5: Would a single hospital, university, professional practice, professional association, consulting firm, or law firm constitute an established health care system?
Question 6: Would Kaiser Permanente, Intermountain Healthcare, Group Health Cooperative, and Geisinger, for example, constitute an established health care system?
Question 7: Would a small chain of hospitals constitute a health system?
Question 8: Would AHRQ further define established health care systems?
Question 9: Would AHRQ further define coalitions of state governments?
Question 10: Would AHRQ consider expanding the description of Eligible Institutions that may apply for these grants?
Question 11: How can a patient advocacy group participate in these grants?
Question 12: Would AHRQ provide additional guidance about the qualifications of a Principal Investigator?
Question 13: Can an application have more than one Principal Investigator?
Question 14: Who are the key stakeholders considered in the review and selection criteria?
Question 15: Can an existing demonstration apply under these RFAs?
Question 16: What is the specific distinction between a grant and a planning grant?
Question 17: If a grantee receives one of the R21 planning grants and produces a plan for addressing patient safety and medical liability, then will AHRQ fund implementation of the plan with a new RFA in 2011?
Question 18: If a successful grantee collects sensitive data during the course of its R18 study, can a third party obtain access to the data by pretrial discovery during a court case?
Question 19: How does AHRQ define significant State involvement, and what role should the State play in an application?
Question 20: Is a State university a unit of State government?
This concludes the list of submitted questions and related answers. Please note that AHRQ will continue to accept written questions and will post answers and questions of general interest on its Web site.
Additional information about questions and answers can be found on the AHRQ Web site at http://www.ahrq.gov/fund/grantix.htm.
This concludes our technical assistance call. Thank you.
Current as of December 2009
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