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New Study Targets Ways to Access High-Quality Primary Care

RTI International Study Will Give State Governments Policy Solutions for Primary Care

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — RTI International (RTI), a nonprofit research institute, launched a new project, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Study of State Actions to Improve the Delivery of Primary Care. This congressionally mandated study aims to learn how government policies and programs at the state level can address long-standing barriers to implementing high-quality, high-value primary care.

Primary care plays a central role in the U.S. health system, addressing a wide range of health issues, supporting disease prevention and health promotion, and guiding patients through the health system. Access to high-quality primary care can help people live longer, feel better and avoid disability.

To design future initiatives that take advantage of the full range of state actions and policies that can improve primary care, federal policymakers need recommendations that are informed by evidence and are actionable. To address this need, RTI will conduct a comprehensive scan of state policies and programs intended to improve primary care and describe key features, how they were implemented, and evidence of success. To gain deeper understanding, RTI researchers also plan to interview key state leaders involved in the development, implementation and evaluation of state actions. 

RTI is partnering with the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) and experts in primary care innovation, implementation, and policy to carry out the one-year study. Members of a Technical Expert Panel will provide consultation and guidance at key points over the next year. These nationally recognized experts bring diverse perspectives – as clinicians, implementors, policy leaders, researchers and patient advocates – and knowledge about the challenges facing primary care now and in the future.

This study builds on a long-standing portfolio of evaluation work that RTI has conducted on state-level initiatives to improve the health care system, such as the State Innovation Models Initiative Evaluations funded by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

Members of the Technical Expert Panel:

  • Steven M. Asch, MD, MPH
    Vice Chief for Research, Division of Primary Care and Population
    Stanford University
  • Chisara N. Asomugha, MD, MSPH, MHS
    Principal Consultant
    FutureHealth Strategies
  • Louise Cohen, MPH
    Chief Executive Officer
    Primary Care Development Corporation
  • Ann Greiner, MCP
    President & Chief Executive Officer
    Primary Care Collaborative
  • Stephen Hoy
    Chief Operating Officer
    Patient Family Centered Care Partners
  • Christopher Koller, MA
    Milbank Memorial Fund
  • Enrique Martinez-Vidal, MPP
    Vice President for Quality and Operations
    Association for Community Affiliated Plans
  • Robert McNellis, MPH, PA
    Senior Advisor for Primary Care
    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • Kitty Purington, JD
    Senior Program Director
    National Academy for State Health Policy
  • Elena V. Rios, MD, MSPH, FACP
    President and CEO
    National Hispanic Medical Association
    National Hispanic Health Foundation
  • John (Jack) Westfall, MD, MPH
    Robert Graham Center

For further information about the study, please contact Project Director, Stephanie Kissam: skissam@rti.org

About RTI International
RTI International is an independent, nonprofit research institute dedicated to improving the human condition. Clients rely on us to answer questions that demand an objective and multidisciplinary approach — one that integrates expertise across the social and laboratory sciences, engineering and international development. We believe in the promise of science, and we are inspired every day to deliver on that promise for the good of people, communities and businesses around the world. 

About AHRQ
AHRQ, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is the nation’s lead health services research and patient safety agency. Its mission is to produce evidence to make healthcare safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable, and to work within HHS and with other partners to make sure that the evidence is understood and used.