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Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs)

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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 20852

The synopsis for this requirement was published in the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) 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 Information.

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:

Cost-reimbursement, task order type contracts are contemplated for a period of 5 years. It is anticipated that multiple awards will be made (approximately 10-14 awards).

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 may:

  1. Perform special analyses, such as meta-analyses, cost effectiveness analyses, decision analyses.
  2. Perform special cost effectiveness studies.
  3. Update EPC reports and assessments.
  4. Undertake methods research.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Design special dissemination strategies for EPC products.
  8. Scan published and grey literature to identify topics that may be ripe for development of an evidence report or technology assessment.
  9. Evaluate the use and impact of evidence reports and technology assessment on the quality, outcomes, and costs of healthcare.
  10. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Expansion of the EPC portfolio to include updating of prior EPC evidence reports.
  3. 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 reimbursement policies.
  4. 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 reviews.

Downloading Information

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Current as of January 2002

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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