NIH GUIDE, Volume 22, Number 26, July 23, 1993

P.T. 34


  Health Services Delivery 

Agency for Health Care Policy and Research

This notice provides the policy of the Agency for Health Care Policy

and Research (AHCPR) regarding the award of grants, cooperative

agreements, and contracts for the evaluation of clinical practice

guidelines.  This policy is designed to protect the integrity of

AHCPR-supported guidelines by preventing, to the extent possible, the

perception of bias or lack of objectivity in AHCPR grant and contract

activities relevant to such guidelines.

As part of its legislative mandate, AHCPR arranges for the development

and periodic updating of clinical practice guidelines, medical review

criteria, standards of quality, and performance measures.  The

guidelines are to assist health care providers, consumers, payers, and

policy makers in making decisions on how diseases, disorders, and other

health conditions can be most effectively and appropriately prevented,

diagnosed, treated, and managed.  These guidelines may be developed by

panels of health care experts and consumers or by contractors assisted

by panels of experts and consumers.

The AHCPR will consider research grant applications and contract

proposals to evaluate clinical practice guidelines.  However, the AHCPR

generally will not award grants or recommend award of contracts to

evaluate AHCPR-supported clinical practice guidelines until the

guideline has been in the public domain for three months.

For purposes of this policy, evaluation of a clinical practice

guideline involves empirical assessment of the direct effects of the

guideline on clinical practice patterns, on patient outcomes, or on the

costs of health care.

If a current or former chair, member, consultant, or contractor staff

of an AHCPR-supported practice guideline panel is involved in seeking

a grant or contract to evaluate an AHCPR guideline that the individual

helped develop, this prior relationship must be disclosed in the grant

application or contract proposal.  The Administrator of the AHCPR

generally will not make an award to that applicant or recommend award

to that offeror because of the possible perception of bias or lack of

objectivity.  This policy may be waived where the Administrator

determines that the interests of scientific progress or public health

outweigh the possibility of an applicant/proposal being perceived as

biased or lacking objectivity.

If the AHCPR determines that an application or proposal does not

disclose a prior relationship to the guideline development process, the

AHCPR will administratively withdraw the application or proposal from

consideration for funding.


Questions regarding AHCPR's Policy on Award of Grants and Contracts for

Evaluation of Clinical Practice Guidelines may be directed to:

Office of the Administrator

Agency for Health Care Policy and Research

2101 E. Jefferson Street, Suite 600

Rockville, MD  20852

Telephone:  (301) 227-6662 (through July 31) or (301) 594-6662

(effective after August 1)


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