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AAMC Comments on PCORI’s working definition of “Patient-Centered Outcomes Research”

September 2, 2011—The AAMC submitted a Sept. 1 comment letter , stating that academic medical centers are actively engaged in leading the kinds of science that Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) aims to undertake and training the future scientific workforce necessary for conducting patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR).  PCORI was established under the Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152) to undertake comparative effectiveness and implementation research.  PCORI drafted a working definition of PCOR and asked for public comment in July [see Washington Highlights, July 22].

The AAMC letter affirms PCORI’s focus on patient-centeredness while identifying key features that would enhance the working definition.  For example, the AAMC letter underscores that evidence about what does and does not work is crucial to patient-centeredness, because health care decisions can then be based on both the values and needs of patients and the best available scientific information.  Equally important, the letter also emphasizes that the definition would be enhanced by acknowledging the need to focus on special subpopulations with a history of disparities and on the importance of implementation science, so that new evidence will be translated into practice, thereby bringing PCOR’s benefits to patients.

The final definition is important because it will guide the kinds of research PCORI sponsors.  PCORI’s first Request for Applications will be announced in late September. These Tier One Pilot Grants will fund projects that assist PCORI in establishing national priorities for research, develop novel methods or the collection of preliminary data that can be used to advance PCOR and/or inform the development of a future PCORI research agenda. PCORI has identified eight initial topics for tier one pilot projects and expects to revise these based on stakeholder input before the RFA is released.


Mildred Solomon, Ed.D.
Senior Director, Implementation Science
Telephone: 202-828-0543

Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806