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R -- Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs)

Notice Date
Notice Type
Presolicitation Notice
Contracting Office
Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Division of Contracts Management, 2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 601, Rockville, MD, 20852
ZIP Code
Solicitation Number
Archive Date
Point of Contact
Mary Haines, Contracting Officer, Phone 301 594-7193, Fax 301 443-7523, - Jacquelyn Carey, Contracting Officer, Phone 301 594-7191, Fax 301 443-7523,
E-Mail Address
mhaines@ahrq.gov, jcarey@ahrq.gov
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is soliciting proposals for a five-year reimbursable contract to continue the work, and expand the impact, of the Agency?s Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs) Program - a flagship program within AHRQ. Work required under this contract will be obtained on an as-needed basis through issuance of Task Orders. Under the new EPC Program (EPC II) tasks will address a variety of assignments, such as development of brief and comprehensive evidence reports and technology assessments related to clinical and behavioral topics, organization and financing topics, health care systems of delivery, and special cost effectiveness studies. The reports and assessments will be systematic reviews that are based on rigorous, comprehensive syntheses and analyses of relevant scientific literature, emphasizing explicitly detailed documentation of methods, rationales, and assumptions. Evidence reports and technology assessments may require systematic reviews and analyses of effectiveness and/or cost effectiveness of: established medical management of specified clinical conditions; established or new technology assessments; clinical preventive medicine; established and new uses of complementary and alternative therapies; and established or new strategies to organize and finance health care. EPCs also may be directed to undertake methodological research, develop evidence-based academic curricula on methods and processes for performing systematic reviews and assessments, and other special projects. Periods of performance for completion of evidence reports and technology assessments will vary, ranging from 30 days up to 12 months, depending on the complexity of the topic, depth of review required, and programmatic need. EPCs will be expected to have the methodological competence and management flexibility to satisfy a range of single and multiple tasks that need to be performed concurrently. Offerors are expected to have methodological expertise in the assessment of a broad range of scientific data, including results from social sciences and behavioral research, controlled trials, diagnostic studies, technology assessments, and epidemiologic research. To evaluate offeror?s methodological expertise, the information set out below must be included in each proposal. Specifically, offeror?s process for: (1) identifying scientific questions within a given topic that are of the greatest importance with respect to clinical practice or policy; (2) identifying specific types of evidence that would be appropriate to answer important questions related to a given topic; (3) identifying, and the criteria for selecting, sources of evidence, including strategies for describing explicit details of the literature review to facilitate future updates of evidence reports; (4) evaluating individual studies for issues that may affect the validity of individual study results, including consideration of both internal and external validity; (5) synthesizing results of data from multiple individual studies; and (6) conveying results from syntheses in ways that communicate readily to relevant audiences for each evidence report or technology assessment. In addition to systematic literature reviews and analyses, an EPC may be tasked to: (1) perform special analyses, such as meta-analysis, cost effectiveness analysis, decision analysis; (2) perform special cost effectiveness studies; (3) update EPC reports and assessments; (4) undertake methods research; (5) collaborate with academic medical centers, payors and employer groups, non-profits, and other private sector entities in, for example, developing evidence-based curricula, providing training opportunities to junior faculty, Fellows, etc. from other academic institutions in how to conduct systematic reviews and assessments, or in conducting educational sessions on interpretation and understanding of research studies; (6) 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; (7) design special dissemination strategies for EPC products; (8) scan published and grey literature to identify topics that may be ripe for development of an evidence report or technology assessment; (9) evaluate the use and impact of evidence reports and technology assessments on the quality, outcomes, and costs of healthcare; and (10) other assignments as requested. The EPCs are to be comprised of core staff of seasoned professionals in fields such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, epidemiology, statistics, health services research, public health, social and behavioral sciences, and science writing and editing. In the event that the EPC core staff does not include particular expertise needed to accomplish a Task Order, the EPC is to obtain such expertise through consultants and/or sub-contracts. It is AHRQ?s expectation that at least one topic-specific content expert will be included as key personnel for each Task Order. The Agency anticipates award of 10-14 EPC contracts. The solicitation and any documents related to this requirement will only be available by downloading from the Internet on AHRQ's site at http://www.ahrq.gov. Once in AHRQ's homepage, look under "Funding Opportunities: and then "Contract Solicitations." It is the offerors responsibility to monitor AHRQ's Internet site for the release of the solicitation and any subsequent amendments. Potential offerors will be responsible for downloading their own copy of the solicitation and any subsequent amendments. Since it is not known who is downloading the solicitation, no bidders list will be available. It is estimated that the solicitation will be available for downloading on or about January 18, 2002. A bidders conference is scheduled for February 20, 2002, with proposals due approximately 30 days after the bidders conference. Further details concerning the bidders conference will be contained in the solicitation.
SN20020105/00010984-020104090124 (fbodaily.com)
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