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Resource Center for Primary Care Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs)

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Request for Proposals

Solicitation No. AHRQ-02-0008 (Full and Open Competition, with recommended small business goals)

Proposals Due: June 11, 2002, 2:00 pm (Extended from May 30)

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 FedBizOpps ( on April 5, 2002 under the title, "Resource Center for Primary Care Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs)." The solicitation issue date is April 16, 2002. Select for Downloading Information. Printed copies are not available. If you having trouble downloading this solicitation, please contact Mary Haines, Contracting Officer, at

It is anticipated that a cost reimbursement contract award will be made under this solicitation for a 2-year period of performance with three 1-year options.

Background and Purpose

The December 1999 legislation reauthorizing the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) directed the agency to employ research strategies and mechanisms that link research directly with clinical practice in geographically diverse locations throughout the country, including the use of "provider-based research networks...especially (in) primary care." In addition, the agency was authorized to address issues of disparities in the quality, outcomes, cost and access to health care for various segments of the U.S. population, through the implementation of research strategies and mechanisms that specifically include primary care practice-based research networks (PBRNs).

In response, AHRQ has provided support for primary care PBRN research efforts by issuing several requests for applications (RFAs). Grant awards were made in September 2000 to 19 PBRNs that comprised more than 5,000 primary care clinicians with practices in 49 States serving almost 7 million primary care patients. A second solicitation resulted in grant awards August 2001 to support efforts by the PBRNs to address specific data-related issues identified through planning activities.

A PBRN has been identified as a group of ambulatory practices devoted principally to the primary care of patients, affiliated with each other (and often an academic or professional organization) to investigate questions related to community-based practice. AHRQ anticipates the additional funding of two more groups through an RFA that was released in February 2002. Later in 2002, AHRQ intends to partner with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to support PBRNs in projects to test strategies for promoting healthy behaviors among patients in primary care practice settings. Through each solicitation, AHRQ expects to support 25-30 PBRN networks (totalling 50-60 networks) in 2003.

The objectives for the PBRN Resource Center are to:

  1. Serve as a central link between AHRQ and the funded PBRNs.
  2. Perform an assessment of the stage of development of networks funded under the PBRN initiatives and the specific resource needs of each network.
  3. Provide technical assistance or consultative support, as appropriate, to individual PBRNs on methods of collecting and aggregating research data from individual practices, use of information technology, methods of responding to emerging public health threats such as acts of bioterrorism; use and understanding of research methods (including behavioral and social research methods), methods for addressing issues raised by institutional review boards (including protection of the privacy and confidentiality of patient-level research data), compliance with current Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations, and methods its practices can use to assure that research findings are translated into practice.
  4. Identify, from researchers previously funded by AHRQ, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or RWJF, individuals or research programs that are willing and able to provide expertise and research tools to PBRNs embarking on projects that test strategies for promoting healthy behaviors and other behavioral interventions in primary care and community settings.
  5. Facilitate communication and sharing of ideas between the networks.
  6. Assist AHRQ in planning for periodic conferences that will involve representatives of all of the funded PBRNs.
  7. Design and implement, in collaboration with AHRQ and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, evaluative strategies to support institutional reporting requirements (e.g., Government Performance and Results Act [GPRA] measures) and an assessment of the impact of institutional investments in the PBRN initiative.

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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