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AHRQ Seeks Applications To Evaluate Use of Financial and Non-Financial Incentives in Health Care

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New Information from AHRQ: April 4, 2002

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), announced a Request for Applications (RFA) for a cooperative agreement research project that will examine the impact of financial and non-financial incentives on the quality of health care services. This RFA will continue AHRQ's mission to support and conduct research that improves the outcomes, quality, access to, and cost and use of health care services.

The use of incentives to reward physicians and other health care providers for achieving quality targets has garnered newspaper headlines and has been debated in the health care community over the past few years. The goal of this research project is to find out which incentives work best and to share that information with providers, health plans, and purchasers.

The RFA builds on RWJF's "Rewarding Results: Aligning Incentives with High-Quality Health Care," a national effort to develop, evaluate, and share findings about innovations in the use of incentives to encourage and reward high-quality care. AHRQ intends to commit $250,000 in total costs in FY 2002 to fund one grant in response to this RFA. In keeping with the timeline of the RWJF "Rewarding Results" initiative, AHRQ anticipates that project applicants will request 4-year project periods. Total costs over the life of the project should not exceed $1.5 million.

Other funding and technical assistance partners include the California HealthCare Foundation, the National Health Care Purchasing Institute, and the Center for Health Care Strategies. Eligible applicants for the demonstration projects include employers, health plans, purchasing coalitions, Medicaid agencies, and the Veterans Administration.

To access the RFA, "Evaluation of Demonstrations: Rewarding Results" online, go to the April 3 NIH Guide at The application form is available at Applications are due May 20, 2002.

For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs, (301) 427-1364: Farah Englert, (301) 427-1865 (


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