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AHCPR Announces New Center, Consolidating Two Components to Improve Efficiency

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Press Release Date: November 18, 1997

The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) is consolidating two existing components to create the Center for Practice and Technology Assessment (CPTA), which will oversee the Agency's Evidence-based Practice Program. CPTA will house the existing Office of the Forum for Quality and Effectiveness in Health Care, and will include the functions of the previous Center for Health Care Technology. The consolidation, designed to improve efficiency, is being announced in today's Federal Register.

"The Center for Practice and Technology Assessment will play a leadership role in improving the evidence base underpinning the practice of medicine. The state-of-the-science reports and technology assessments that the new centers will produce will provide the health care system with a wealth of information we critically need," said AHCPR Administrator John M. Eisenberg, M.D.

The new center will focus on closing the gap between what is known and what is done, to help improve the quality of health care. CPTA's major activities will include: producing evidence reports and technology assessments, principally through AHCPR's 12 Evidence-based Practice Centers; facilitating the development and operation of an Internet-based National Guideline Clearinghouse through the recently announced partnership with the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Association of Health Plans (AAHP); and coordinating the work of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. CPTA also will conduct and support research on the implementation of evidence-based recommendations into the health care delivery system, and on methodologic aspects of this work.

CPTA will be directed by Douglas Kamerow, M.D., who has been serving as director of AHCPR's Office of the Forum for Quality and Effectiveness in Health Care as well as acting director of the Center for Health Care Technology. Kamerow, a family physician and an epidemiologist, also has been promoted to the rank of assistant surgeon general in the Public Health Service's Commissioned Corps.

"CPTA will provide a single point of contact for organizations and individuals who are looking for comprehensive evidence reviews on health conditions, treatments, and technologies. We will focus on those that are common and costly," Kamerow explained.

The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) is charged with supporting research that improves the quality of health care, reduces its costs, and enhances access to essential services.

For additional information, contact AHCPR Public Affairs: Salina Prasad, (301) 427-1864 (

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