Agency for Health Care Policy and Research

The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) was established in December 1989 under Public Law 101-239 (Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989). AHCPR, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the lead agency charged with supporting research designed to improve the quality of health care, reduce its cost, and broaden access to essential services. AHCPR's broad programs of research bring practical, science-based information to medical practitioners and to consumers and other health care purchasers. The Agency is comprised of 14 major functional components, with the Office of the Administrator directing the activities of the Agency to ensure that strategic objectives are achieved.

Funding: No special dollars are allocated to specific topics. Interest in vulnerable populations which includes disability.

Disability Research: The AHCPR research agenda includes eight topic areas:

  1. Patient outcomes research evaluates the effectiveness of health care interventions to show how they affect results important to patients, including quality of life and functional status.
  2. Quality measurement and improvement develops measurements and strategies to facilitate improved quality of care.
  3. Clinical practice guidelines. AHCPR facilitates the development of clinical practice guidelines which are based on comprehensive reviews of the scientific literature. The guidelines help practitioners and consumers determine the best ways to prevent and treat diseases and other health conditions.
  4. Consumer choice provides useful information on quality and value of health care.
  5. Cost and access research is designed to understand trends occurring in health care and their implications for quality and consumer choice.
  6. Health care delivery assesses and evaluates the health care marketplace.
  7. Technology assessments provide information on the risks, benefits, and clinical effectiveness of new medical technologies.
  8. Data standards and health information systems development contributes to the simplification of health care information systems.

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