The Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center, a collaboration among Oregon Health & Science University, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research and the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, recently was awarded $10 million in federal research contracts from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services.
With these new contracts, the Oregon EPC will have received more than $29 million in federal, state and private funding since its inception in 1997.
The new AHRQ contracts will provide renewed funding for the Oregon EPC’s role as a Scientific Resource Center, helping other EPCs (14 total in North America) with the methodology for producing numerous comparative effectiveness review reports on a range of clinical, behavioral, economic and health care delivery topics.
“These contracts give us the opportunity to play an important role in providing evidence for decisions about comparative effectiveness,” said Mark Helfand, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., director of the Oregon EPC; professor of medicine, and medical informatics and clinical epidemiology, OHSU School of Medicine; and staff physician, Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
The new contracts also renew funding for the Oregon EPC’s technical support of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of private-sector experts in prevention and primary care who conduct rigorous, impartial assessments of the scientific evidence to determine the effectiveness of a broad range of clinical preventive services, including screening, counseling and preventive medications. The task force’s recommendations are considered the "gold standard" for clinical preventive services.
“We are very excited to continue our work supporting the task force in making evidence-based recommendations about important preventive services for primary care delivery, such as colorectal cancer screening, breast cancer screening and interventions to prevent falls in older adults,” said Evelyn Whitlock, M.D., M.P.H., associate director of the Oregon EPC and senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. Whitlock directs the work with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
The Oregon EPC has produced 51 reviews for the task force since 1998. In addition, the center has produced 10 evidence reports for AHRQ and 23 drug class reviews for its Drug Effectiveness Review Project.
AHRQ-funded EPCs are tasked with synthesizing and analyzing the scientific literature on clinical and other health care delivery issues to produce reports and technology assessments based on the evidence. These reports then are used by federal and state agencies, private-sector professional societies, health care delivery systems, providers, payers and others to make health care decisions that are based solely on the evidence.