WASHINGTON--The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) has awarded 10 research grants to study changes that are reshaping America's health-care system (see list below). The grants total $1.4 million for the first year; most of the projects will be completed in 2 years or less.
WASHINGTON--The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR)has awarded 10 research grants to study changes that are reshapingAmerica's health-care system (see list below). The grants total$1.4 million for the first year; most of the projects will becompleted in 2 years or less.
AHCPR administrator Clifton R. Gaus, ScD, said that the deliveryof health-care services in the United States is undergoing dramatictransformation, including mergers and consolidation of health-careorganizations; a move toward greater collective purchasing ofhealth care and health insurance; and innovations brought aboutby single large employers (providers of employee health benefits)who are seeking more value for their health-care dollar.
"The growth of managed care organizations and a decline inthe number of independent hospitals and physician groups are amongthe most obvious changes that have occurred in response to marketforces," Dr. Gaus said.
He added that there is currently limited information about thetypes of market structures and organizations that are emergingin the health-care sector. Even less is known about how thesemarket structures are influencing the competitive strategies ofhealth-care providers and insurers, the quality and types of careavailable in the market, or the price and equitable distributionof services.
The studies of health-care markets funded by AHCPR complementstudies of changes in health-care financing and organization sponsoredby the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a national philanthropydevoted to health care, Dr. Gaus said. Efforts were made to coordinatethe research portfolios of AHCPR and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundationto avoid project duplication.