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Evidence-based Practice Center Coordinating Center

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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 20852

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

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 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 reimbursement policies.

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:

  1. Perform special analyses, such as meta-analyses, cost effectiveness analyses, decision analyses.
  2. Perform special cost studies.
  3. Update EPC reports and assessments.
  4. Undertake methods research.
  5. Teach principles of evidence-based systematic review methodology.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Downloading Information

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Current as of April 2002

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


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