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Creating an Integrated Framework for Reducing Disparities in Health Care Quality (Text Version)

Slide presentation from the AHRQ 2010 conference.

On September 28, 2010, Francis Chesley, Jr. made this presentation at the 2010 Annual Conference. Select to access the PowerPoint® presentation (1.2 MB). 

Slide 1

Slide 1. Creating an Integrated Framework for Reducing Disparities in Health Care Quality

Creating an Integrated Framework for Reducing Disparities in Health Care Quality

Francis D. Chesley, Jr., MD
Office of Extramural Research, Education and Priority Populations

AHRQ Annual Conference
September 28, 2010

Slide 2

Slide 2. The Change/Evolution of AHRQ

The Change/Evolution of AHRQ

Image: Timeline shows AHRQ budget and other events from 1989-2010:


  • FY 1990 Budget: $97 million.
  • Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) is established.


  • FY 1995 Budget: $154 million.
  • "Near-death experience."


  • AHCPR becomes the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
  • AHRQ begins sponsorship of U.S. Preventive Services Task Force activities.


  • FY 2003 Budget: $318.7 million.
  • Effective Health Care (EHC) Program created.


  • EHC Program launched, includes dissemination and application function by the Eisenberg Center.


  • Recovery Act Funding in 2009: $300 million to AHRQ.


  • FY 2010 Budget: $397 million.
  • President's FY 2011 AHRQ budget proposal: $611 million.

Slide 3

Slide 3. Setting the Context

Setting the Context

  • The Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999 directed AHRQ to conduct and support research with respect to the delivery of health care for Priority Populations.
  • AHRQ published its Priority Population Inclusion Policy in February 2003.
  • Established an AHRQ functional unit to assist in carrying out policy requirements.

Slide 4

Slide 4. AHRQ Priority Populations

AHRQ Priority Populations

  • Inner city and rural areas (including frontier areas).
  • Low income groups.
  • Racial and ethnic minority groups.
  • Women and children.
  • The elderly.
  • Individuals with special health care needs, including individuals with disabilities and those who need chronic care or end-of-life health care.

Slide 5

Slide 5. The Policy

The Policy

  • Provides one of the cornerstones for studying and eliminating health care disparities.
  • Intended to ensure inclusion in AHRQ's overall portfolio of research.
  • Intended to foster inclusion such that research designs explicitly allow for valid analyses—including subgroup analyses where relevant.
  • Investigators should consider inclusion of one or more priority populations.

Slide 6

Slide 6. The Policy (cont)

The Policy (cont)

  • Encourages development of specific outreach plans to reach participant recruitment goals.
  • Encourages subgroup analyses to provide specific research results relevant to one or more priority population.
  • Requires explicit justification of exclusion, such as inappropriate with respect to the health of subjects or purpose of research.

Slide 7

Slide 7. Inclusion in Real Time

Inclusion in Real Time

  • Core Business
    • Knowledge Creation.
    • Synthesis & Dissemination.
    • Implementation & Use.
  • Measurement.
  • Data.
  • Training & Research Infrastructure.
  • Research Portfolios

Slide 8

Slide 8. AHRQ Portfolios

AHRQ Portfolios

  • Value:
    • Goal: Support the development of health care activities that help reduce unnecessary waste while improving quality.
  • Innovations/Emerging Issues:
    • Goal: Identify and support ideas and projects that have the potential for highly innovative solutions to health care challenges

Image: To the right of the text is a sectioned circle showing the AHRQ portfolios: Comparative Effectiveness, Prevention and Care Management, Value, Health IT, Patient Safety, and Innovations/Emerging Issues.

Slide 9

Slide 9. AHRQ Priorities

AHRQ Priorities

Image: A sectioned circle contains the following text--one priority is in each section:

Patient Safety

  • Health IT
  • Patient Safety Organizations
  • New Patient Safety Grants

Effective Health Care Program

  • Comparative Effectiveness Reviews
  • Comparative Effectiveness Research
  • Clear Findings for Multiple Audiences

Other Research & Dissemination Activities

  • Quality & Cost-Effectiveness, e.g. Prevention and Pharmaceutical Outcomes
  • U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys

  • Visit-Level Information on Medical Expenditures
  • Annual Quality & Disparities Reports

Ambulatory Patient Safety

  • Safety & Quality Measures, Drug Management and Patient-Centered Care
  • Patient Safety Improvement Corps

Slide 10

Slide 10. Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned

  • Common application statement—priority populations will be included in our study to extent that they exist in our study population.
  • How do I comply when I am using secondary data and subgroup numbers are small?
  • But also, AHRQ should be explicit about specific priorities for priority populations research in each Funding Opportunity Announcements.
  • Are there "points" in peer review and funding decision making?

Slide 11

Slide 11. Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned

  • Policy of encouragement difficult to understand and implement.
  • True inclusion and subgroup analyses require resources.
  • Specific role for peer review.
  • Factoring inclusion as a component of funding decisionmaking is not easy.
  • We need a framework!

Slide 12

Slide 12. Why Is This Important?

Why Is This Important?

  • Health care disparities persist and in many cases are worsening.
  • Ongoing and enhanced focus & activities within the DHHS.
  • Recognized importance of quality improvement must include strategies for eliminating disparities.
  • The ACA requires establishment of offices of minority health in HHS and focus on eliminating health disparities.
  • The ACA calls for National Quality and Prevention Strategies—each includes eliminating disparities as a core principle.

Slide 13

Slide 13. ACA Provisions Related to AHRQ

ACA Provisions Related to AHRQ

  • Community Health Team to Support Patient-Centered Model Home.
  • Medication Management Services.
  • Improving the Emergency Care System.
  • Shared Decision Making.
  • Collecting Data on Health Disparities.
  • Health Care Workforce.
  • Primary Care Extension Service.
  • Medical Liability*

* Only item on the list with an appropriation. All other items authorized.

Slide 14

Slide 14. Thank You

Thank You

AHRQ Mission

To improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans.

AHRQ Vision

As a result of AHRQ's efforts, American health care will provide services of the highest quality, with the best possible outcomes, at the lowest cost.

Image: A puzzle piece is shown bursting out of its place.

Page last reviewed December 2010
Internet Citation: Creating an Integrated Framework for Reducing Disparities in Health Care Quality (Text Version). December 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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


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