The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) contracted with National Opinion Research Center to assess the policy impact of AHRQ-sponsored grants on topics relating to the health of and health care provided to low income populations. This report characterizes the type of impact AHRQ-sponsored low income research has had on state and federal health policy and recommend ways to enhance usability and increase adoption of findings from future research through improved research funding, administration and dissemination strategies. Findings from this project highlighted specific factors associated with a higher likelihood that research findings will have an effect on policy. Factors that are necessary but not sufficient by themselves include: structure, oversight and administration of the grant, involvement of policy stakeholders in all phases of grant activity, the role of advocacy groups in disseminating findings and lobbying for change, and principal-investigator motivation and understanding of the policy process. Implications for AHRQ's funding and dissemination strategy are were identified. Overall the influence of AHRQ's Low Income research portfolio funded in the 1990s on policy-making among government and health care sector stakeholders was mixed; some grants did not produce or disseminate results of direct interest to policy makers. However, the assessment demonstrated that a number of specific grants had significant influence on policy-making; in particular, on Medicaid and safety-net care provisioning.
PIC ID: 8167; Agency Sponsor: AHRQ-OPART, Office on Performance, Accountability, Resources and Technology; Federal Contact: David Introcaso; 301-427-1213; Performer: National Opinion Research Center, Chicago, IL.