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The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) was LIB established in December 1989 under Public Law 101–239 (Omnibus Ni Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989) to enhance the quality,
appropriateness, and effectiveness of health care services and access to these services. AHCPR carries out its mission by conducting and supporting general health services research, including medical effectiveness research, facilitating development of clinical practice guidelines, and disseminating research findings and guidelines to health care providers, policymakers, and the public.
The legislation also established within AHCPR the Office of the Forum for Quality and Effectiveness in Health Care (the Forum). The Forum has primary responsibility for facilitating the development, periodic review, and updating of clinical practice guidelines. The guidelines will assist practitioners in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of clinical conditions.
Other AHCPR components include the following. The Center for Medical Effectiveness Research has principal responsibility for patient outcomes research and studies of variations in clinical practice. The Center for General Health Services Extramural Research supports research on primary care, the cost and financing of health care, and access to care for underserved and rural populations. The Center for General Health Services Intramural Research uses large data sets for policy research on national health care expenditures and utilization, hospital studies, and long-term care. The Center for Research Dissemination and Liaison produces and disseminates findings from AHCPR-supported research, including guidelines, and conducts research on dissemination methods. The Office of Technology Assessment responds to requests from Federal health programs for assessment of health care technologies. The Office of Science and Data Development develops specialized data bases for patient outcomes research.
Guidelines are available in formats suitable for health care practitioners, the scientific community, educators, and consumers. AHCPR invites comments and suggestions from users for consideration in development and updating of future guidelines. Please send written comments to Director, Office of the Forum for Quality and Effectiveness in Health Care, AHCPR, Executive Office Center, Suite 401, 2101 East Jefferson Street, Rockville, MD 20852.
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