On January 23, 2011, the ACA’s Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) released its first draft National Priorities for Research and Research Agenda, which will be used to guide funding announcements for comparative clinical effectiveness research. The proposed national priorities for research are as follows:

Comparative Assessments of Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options — determining which options work best for distinct populations with specific health problems.

  • Improving Healthcare Systems – focusing on ways to improve healthcare services, such as the coordination of care for patients with multiple chronic conditions.
  • Communication and Dissemination – examining ways to provide information to patients so that they can make informed healthcare decisions with clinicians.
  • Addressing Disparities – assuring that research addresses the healthcare needs of all patient populations since treatments may not work equally well for everyone.
  • Accelerating Patient-Centered and Methodological Research – including patients and caregivers in the design of research that is quick, safe, and efficient.

Note that PCORI is not specifying or prioritizing any particular condition or disease for research, although it may do so in the future. Public comments on the priorities and agenda will be accepted until March 15, 2012, or at various public forums planned during the comment period, including a “National Patient and Stakeholder Dialogue” in Washington D.C. scheduled on February 27. After the comment period closes, PCORI will report on the public feedback and the PCORI Board of Governors will vote on the priorities and agenda. PCORI expects to issue its first funding announcements in May.