QUERI – Quality Enhancement Research Initiative

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Partnered Evidence-Based Policy Resource Center

Boston, MA

Overview:

The Partnered Evidence-Based Policy Resource Center (PEPReC) is a new HSR&D/QUERI resource designed to provide timely, rigorous data analysis to support the development of high-priority policy, planning, and management initiatives and quantitative program evaluations with strong potential to improve the quality and efficiency of VA healthcare. VA has undergone new policy and practice transformations, notably with the passage of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (Choice Act). VA policymakers and managers are tasked with improving access to and quality of VA care while simultaneously financing Veterans' choices of non-VA care at a time when demands on the VA budget are growing rapidly. Consequently, there is an urgent need for evidence-based policy, planning, and management to:

  • Accurately forecast the demand for VA care;
  • Efficiently deploy resources where they are most needed;
  • Monitor performance, including access to care; and
  • Make sound decisions about major new investments.

The PEPReC's core mission includes refining VA measurements of access to care, productivity, demand, and capacity, as well as investigating relationships among them to improve policy and planning. Of particular interest are the relationships between capacity/demand and productivity/access. PEPReC will also help monitor and evaluate impacts of major investments, such as new versions of VistA. In response to requests, PEPReC assists operations partners with program evaluation design, data capture, verification, and analysis. PEPReC also analyzes large administrative databases primarily from VA, Medicare, and Medicaid. In consultation with VA's Office of Policy and Planning, PEPReC uses statistical and econometric models to forecast supply and demand responses to policy initiatives and changes in healthcare and labor market conditions. Studies are prioritized by their anticipated impact on VA policy and healthcare system needs, as well as the availability of resources from the operations partner to support the proposed study.

Objectives:

The PEPReC has three major objectives:

  • Use data-driven economic and statistical models to forecast VA demand, capacity, and productivity to support budgeting, investment and purchasing decisions.
  • Develop, validate, monitor, and refine performance metrics to optimize access to and quality of care.
  • Design and support randomized and quasi-random program evaluation objectives.

In addition to the Directors of HSR&D and QUERI, the PEPReC Advisory Committee includes representatives from VA's Office of Finance, Office of Policy and Planning, VHA Clinical Operations (10N), and Office of Informatics and Analytics.

Principal Investigator: Austin Frakt, PhD (contact at Austin.Frakt@va.gov).