RTI International forms center to focus on innovation in health and social policy research

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – RTI International formed the RTI Center for Advanced Methods Development to focus on innovation and new methods development for health, social, and policy research.

“Decision makers now have access to an enormous amount of data, but more data won’t translate into new insights without corresponding new methods development,” said Anupa Bir, Sc.D., director of the RTI Center for Advanced Methods Development. “To advance the field of health and social policy research, we have created this Center to focus on innovation, especially in methods that will allow us to present results in ways that are interactive and actionable.”

The Center will advance both qualitative and quantitative research methods and be future oriented to anticipate the evolving needs of health and social policy entities.

The Center brings together 18 staff members within RTI with plans to grow 40 percent within the next year.

The Center draws from staff expertise in the RTI International-University of North Carolina Evidence-based Practice Center (RTI-UNC EPC) which RTI has led since 1997. RTI-UNC EPC reviews, analyzes, and synthesizes bodies of scientific evidence—related to drugs, devices, and health systems interventions--to inform health care practitioner decisions and health policy. The analytic techniques and findings from RTI-UNC EPC have been used by various health and social agencies, including the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Center staff members are also developing a new combination of approaches to analyze the Health Care Innovation Awards, a $1 billion Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation initiative to develop new health care payment and service delivery models that would lower Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program expenditures. The Center’s advanced methods will be used to synthesize the complex findings of a broad array of evaluations to support decision making about what to take forward from 147 different Health Care Innovation Awards. RTI’s work includes developing interactive dashboards that allow Centers for Medicare and Medicaid policy makers to curate findings based on the data most relevant to them and their questions.

“It’s an exciting time for methods development in health and social policy. In many ways it is a golden age for generating and using evidence to improve health and well-being,” Bir said.

Highlights

  • RTI International formed the RTI Center for Advanced Methods Development to focus on innovation and new methods development for health, social, and policy research
  • The Center will advance both qualitative and quantitative research methods and be future oriented to anticipate the evolving needs of health and social policy entities