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February 16, 1990

New Health Care Research Agency Reflects Interest in Evaluating Quality

JAMA. 1990;263(7):929-930. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440070011003

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RESEARCH ON HEALTH care policy has come of age and with this will come major changes in measuring and ensuring quality of care. A prime example: Congress has created the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research within the US Public Health Service.

As a result of this new emphasis, "by the end of this century, no nation in the world will be as proficient as the United States in evaluating the quality of care. As a result, the American health care system will be unrivaled by the year 2000," predicts Uwe Reinhardt, PhD, Princeton (NJ) University.

The new Agency for Health Care Policy and Research is charged with conducting and supporting research on health care services and delivery systems. It has three main activities: (1) research on outcomes; (2) technology assessment; and (3) development of practice guidelines.

In the process, the agency will conduct demonstration projects (mostly through extramural