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AHRQ Seeking Partners for its Integrated Delivery System Research Network

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Press Release Date: February 10, 2000

The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is seeking research partners for its new Integrated Delivery System Research Network (IDSRN) for conducting high-priority projects on a fast track. A synopsis of the Request for Proposals (RFP) was published in the February 8 issue of the Commerce Business Daily. The RFP is open to managed care plans, vertically integrated hospital systems, large physician group practices, and other health care organizations with research and data capabilities. These health systems are encouraged to collaborate with academic institutions, consulting firms or other research organizations in submitting a proposal.

AHRQ Director John M. Eisenberg, M.D., said, "One of the reasons underlying our creation of the IDSRN is the challenge posed by the rapid pace of market, organizational and technological changes to developing effective strategies for conducting and disseminating research. AHRQ's partnerships with delivery systems will enable us to conduct real-time evaluation of how these changes are affecting health care access, cost and quality."

Dr. Eisenberg said another factor behind the decision to create the IDSRN is the investment by integrated delivery systems in health information infrastructure. "This investment has produced a rich source of data that could be tapped and applied to research aimed at informing private- and public-sector decisions about the future of our nation's health care system."

It is anticipated that as many as five private-public research partners will receive awards funded at a total of approximately $4 million for the first three-year period with an optional two-year additional period funded at approximately $2 million. Applicants selected as designated IDSRN partners will have an opportunity to compete for funds to conduct research and demonstrations on select, high-priority topics.

Each of the IDSRN partners will be expected to have the capability to address a broad range of pressing questions relevant to health care management and public policy decisions within relatively short time frames. Priority research projects may include evaluating the impact of specific clinical interventions, organizational strategies and structures, and identifying organizational factors that facilitate timely diffusion of evidence from researchers to caregivers.

Applicants have 60 days from the issuance of the RFP to submit their proposals for designation as an IDSRN partner. Awards are expected to be announced in late July 2000.

Requests for the full RFP must be in sent in writing to Mr. Daryl Grant, Division of Contracts Management, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 601, Rockville, MD 20852 (Fax: 301-443-7523).

A copy of the RFP will be posted on AHRQ's Web site at approximately three weeks from the date of publication in the Commerce Business Daily.

For additional information, contact AHRQ Public Affairs, (301) 427-1364: Karen Migdail, (301) 427-1855 (

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