Reports and Other Publications
Issue Brief: HHS is Taking Action to Strengthen Primary Care
Recognizing the importance of having a strong primary care foundation to our healthcare system, HHS released an issue brief demonstrating its commitment to strengthening primary care in our nation. This issue brief (PDF, 256 KB) outlines the critical actions that HHS has taken and its future work to strengthen primary care. AHRQ and NCEPCR are proud to have contributed to this department-wide effort to strengthen primary care and spark aligned actions from federal partners and external stakeholders.
Blog for National Primary Care Week 2023
An October 2023 AHRQ Views blog post during National Primary Care Week emphasizes the Agency’s ongoing efforts to advance whole-person, patient-centered care and its commitment to protect and advance primary care’s unique role as the foundation of a strong healthcare system. At the center of AHRQ’s endeavors is the National Center for Excellence in Primary Care Research (NCEPCR), which supports primary care research and provides tools and resources to advance healthcare quality.
Environmental Scan Final Report: Managing Unhealthy Alcohol Use in Primary Care
The new report (PDF, 10.8 MB) on managing unhealthy alcohol use in primary care, released July 2023, covers nearly 600 tools and resources to help diagnose and treat unhealthy alcohol use and the searchable database.
Burnout in Primary Care: Assessing and Addressing It in Your Practice
Environmental Scan: Managing Urinary Incontinence for Women in Primary Care
An initial environmental scan (PDF, 11 MB) on existing patient-centered outcomes research evidence and tools for disseminating and implementing nonsurgical urinary incontinence treatment of women in primary care was released in October 2022. The scan will be updated annually for two years. This report summarizes and synthesizes the results of the initial scan.
Report on Research Gaps in Primary Care
To identify primary care gaps, the Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) Program examined all reviews conducted by an EPC in calendar years 2019-2021 that addressed a research topic in primary care. Identified reports are presented and summarized in this 2022 report in descending order, by date. Evidence gaps are organized by population, intervention, study design, and outcomes to facilitate ease of use.
Technical Brief on Incorporation of Social Risk in Primary Care
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) published a manuscript in JAMA that assesses how social risks have been considered in USPSTF recommendation statements and identifies current gaps in the evidence needed to expand the systematic inclusion of social risks in future recommendations. The findings and recommendations in this paper are informed by a September 2021 USPSTF commissioned technical brief.
Blog on Investing in Primary Care to Ensure High-Quality Care for All Americans
A July 2021 AHRQ Views blog on Investing in Primary Care to Ensure High-Quality Care for All Americans discusses how the momentum for greater interest and investments in primary care and primary care research will allow AHRQ to achieve important impacts on everyday practice. The President's FY22 budget proposal included robust endorsements for this work for the first time in many years.
Health Services and Primary Care Research Report
In 2018, Congress directed AHRQ to commission an independent assessment of federally funded health services research (HSR) and primary care research (PCR) conducted between 2012 and 2018 to increase the impact of research by identifying research gaps and proposing strategies for better coordination across the Federal enterprise. The 2021 report (PDF, 5 MB) conducted by the RAND Corporation categorizes projects funded by HHS agencies by audience and topic area.
National Web Conference on Opportunities for Digital Healthcare: Lessons Learned From the COVID-19 Pandemic
AHRQ hosted a free web conference on July 1, 2021 to discuss how digital healthcare has been affected by the pandemic. Participants described the use of digital healthcare strategies and tools to support information flow in caring for patients with COVID and other conditions, and how to leverage digital healthcare going forward. Access the recording of the conference.
AHRQ’s 30th Anniversary Primary Care Research Conference Proceedings
In December 2020, AHRQ held a Primary Care Research conference to mark the 30th anniversary of the first primary care research conference convened in 1990 The conference convened a diverse group of participants to provide guidance to AHRQ on a primary care research agenda for the 2020s. See AHRQ’s 30th Anniversary Primary Care Research Conference: Proceedings (PDF, 751 KB) for details.
Primary Care Transformation Reports
From 2010-2018, AHRQ invested more than $12 million and funded three grant initiatives to better understand the challenges faced by primary care practices as they transformed into patient-centered medical homes (PCMH) and to help create an infrastructure to assist them with this transformation.
- Transforming Primary Care Practice (TPC): A summary report synthesizing the findings and lessons learned across 14 Transforming Primary Care Practice (TPC) grants that were funded to understand the "natural experiments" that primary care practices undergo as they transform into PCMHs and to study the process of transformation. The AHRQ Transforming Primary Care Grants Bibliography includes citations for and short summaries of the more than 50 peer-reviewed articles resulting from this grant initiative so far. The evidence generated from this initiative has formed a solid foundation to understand and assist with future primary care improvement.
- Infrastructure for Maintaining Primary Care Transformation (IMPaCT): A summary report synthesizing findings across the IMPaCT grants which funded 17 State-level initiatives to work together to build a support system to assist primary care practices with their transformation efforts. This was achieved by building a quality improvement infrastructure for primary care through the use of primary care extension agents. An interactive Catalog of Tools and Resources includes materials developed by IMPaCT grantees and partner States to support and train others in primary care transformation and quality improvement. More information on the work of the IMPaCT grants can be found in this Health Extension Toolkit.
- Estimating the Costs of Supporting Primary Care Practice Transformation: The Practical Guide to Measuring the Costs of Primary Care Transformation summarizes the methods used by grantees to measure the direct and indirect costs of transforming primary care and the advantages and disadvantages of each method. The Guide was developed based on the experiences and lessons learned from the 15 AHRQ Estimating Costs grants which provided stakeholders with information about the costs of implementing and sustaining transformative primary care practice redesign. Stakeholders included independent primary care practices, health care systems, health care payers, and other health care system decision makers. Projects estimated direct costs, such as staff time and equipment, and indirect costs, such as overhead and forgone revenue. Many studies also estimated the costs of attaining and maintaining PCMH recognition.