PCORI moves to implement comparative effectiveness research, funding
PCORI is now ready to get down to business
The not-for-profit organization tasked by the healthcare reform law with promoting comparative effectiveness research has spent the 16 months since its inception in the planning stages, building infrastructure and seeking feedback from clinicians and patients. But the time has come to get the funds awarded and the research started, said Dr. Joseph Selby, executive director of the Patient-centered Outcomes Research Institute.
“The legislation does not specify a date when funding has to start,” said Selby, referring to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, “but the board and staff of PCORI feel strongly that we need to get funding and research under way. Time is of the essence.”
On Jan. 23, PCORI released a draft copy of its five-item priority list and research agenda, which the organization says it will use to guide its funding decisions.
PCORI received a flood of more than 850 applications for its Pilot Projects Grants Pro- gram by the Dec. 1 deadline. The awardees— PCORI says there will be approximately 40— will be announced in May and research will begin right away, Selby said.
The large number of interested applicants is to be expected, said Dr. Michael Steinman, associate professor in the division of geriatrics at the UCSF School of Medicine, and director of comparative effectiveness research at the university’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute.
“It’s not surprising because this is a major, emerging area of research in an era of shrinking budgets from the National Institutes of Health and other traditional sources of funding,” said Steinman, adding that several UCSF researchers had applied for pilot grants from PCORI.
PCORI’S development phase has taken a while, but that makes sense, given the organiza-
“If we narrowed the agenda and said that we only wanted to study these conditions or these interventions, we’d cut ourselves off from large sections of the provider and patient communities.” — Dr. Joseph Selby, Patient-centered
Outcomes Research Institute