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Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends (CFACT)
The Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends (CFACT) conducts, supports, and manages studies of the cost and financing of health care, the access to health care services and related trends. CFACT develops data sets to support policy and behavioral research and analyses. These studies and data development activities are designed to provide health care leaders and policymakers with the information and tools they need to improve decisions on health care financing, access, coverage and cost. Specifically, CFACT:
- Conducts, supports, and manages research and analysis of trends and patterns of health expenditures, public and private insurance coverage, use of personal health services, health status and access to care for the general population and subgroups of policy interest.
- Conducts and manages health sector surveys such as medical expenditure surveys; surveys of medical care providers, employers and other sources of insurance coverage and health benefits; and surveys of the use, cost, and financing of care for special populations.
- Collects, reorganizes, and analyzes administrative databases related to health care use, health status, cost and financing.
- Provides modeling and projections of health care use, status, expenditures, and payments for policy research.
- Conducts and supports statistical and methodological research on survey design, sampling and estimation techniques, and data quality.
- Conducts and supports surveys and research of institutional and community based long-term care.
- Evaluates administrative data sets for intramural and extramural research including policy and methodological studies.
- Builds research and data collection partnerships with the health care sector, employers and foundations, and represents the Agency in meetings with Federal agencies and experts on health policy issues especially issues related to health expenditures, access, and insurance, Federal and State health care programs.
CFACT was formerly the Center for Cost and Financing Studies (CCFS).
Division of Modeling and Simulation
The Division of Modeling and Simulation provides research, models, and data bases to support microsimulation analyses of household impacts and trends in health expenditures from health policies embodied in current law and from health care policies embodied in generic versions of proposed health care reforms. Specifically:
- Projects the National Medical Expenditure Survey and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) household expenditure data to future years.
- Aligns the projected household expenditure data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services's National Health Expenditures by type of health service and payment source.
- Uses a variety of outside data sources to project, for example, the household population, Medicaid enrollees, household income, and private and public health insurance benefits.
- Develops and updates the Agency's MEDSIM microsimulation model's software to estimate current household income and payroll taxes, current private and public insurance coverage and benefits, and the costs and consequences of generic versions of proposed health care reforms.
- Provides the latest versions of the projected expenditure data bases and associated research products on the Agency home page.
- Uses MEDSIM and its data bases to conduct and publish research on current and proposed health policies and on trends in household health care expenditures.
- Provides cost and distributional MEDSIM estimates of specific legislative health care reform proposals to provide predecisional guidance to requesting federal officials.
Division of Social and Economic Research
The Division of Social and Economic Research provides basic descriptive and behavioral analyses of the population's access to, use of, expenditures and sources of payment for health care; the availability and costs of private health insurance in the employment-related and non-group markets; the population enrolled in public health insurance coverage and those without health care coverage; and the role of health status in health care use, expenditures, and household decisionmaking, and in health insurance and employment choices. Specifically:
- Provides analytical input to the design and development of primary data collection efforts and research-related databases.
- Develops a research agenda related to health care use, expenditures, access to care, sources of payment, health insurance, and health status.
- Conducts applied research in these areas by applying substantive research tools from the fields of health services research, health economics, medical sociology, public policy analysis, demography, statistics and econometrics.
- Disseminates research findings through presentations at conferences, publications in peer reviewer journals, book chapters, and conference volumes.
- Provides substantive technical expertise on health care use, expenditures, and insurance coverage to other units within AHRQ, other governmental units, private sector research institutions, and by serving as technical reviewers and advisors to scholarly journals, technical advisory committees, and private and public sector task forces.
Division of Statistical Research and Methods
The Division of Statistical Research and Methods plans and conducts studies on statistical methods and the use of statistics in survey design in health services research. These studies provide the bases for policy research and analysis and for technical assistance provided to other Centers and Offices within the Agency. Specifically:
- Identifies, designs, conducts, and implements statistical research and evaluation studies in accordance with the Agency's research priorities.
- Oversees the statistical design of the national Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS).
- Conducts research in the areas of survey design, sampling, estimation, imputation, the analysis of complex survey data, and the reduction of sources of sampling and nonsampling errors in the design of national health care surveys.
Division of Survey Operations
The Division of Survey and Operations plans, implements and monitors the fielding of CFACT surveys. Specifically:
- Develops and disseminates public use data files which include editing, imputation and estimation tasks.
- Assists in the development of data reports which are of particular interest to the Department and other Federal, State and local government agencies as well as the larger research community.
- Monitors the development of Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) data collection instruments.
Current as of October 2005
Mission Statement: Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends. October 2005. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/about/cfact/