NOT-HS-22-010 AHRQ Announces Interest in Health Services Research on Health System and Healthcare Professional Responsiveness to COVID-19

This Special Emphasis Notice (SEN) informs the research community that the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is interested in receiving health services research grant applications to develop models of care that improve access, quality, and outcomes of care related to COVID-19 and post-acute sequalae from COVID-19 (PASC).

COVID-19 has presented extraordinary challenges to an already strained healthcare system. Since 2020, organizations have faced surges of demand for COVID-19–related care amid heightened staffing shortages, scarce supplies, and limitations on patient-provider interactions. Improved understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its mechanisms of illness has enabled healthcare organizations to develop innovative solutions and models of care in response. Providing patient-centered, whole person–oriented care for COVID-19 and PASC remains a challenge as organizations seek to develop strategies for effectively preventing, diagnosing, treating, and managing COVID-19. These efforts are particularly important to people with multiple chronic conditions (MCC), whose higher risks for severe disease, mortality, and PASC compound the existing burdens of their underlying conditions. Similarly, the greater impact of COVID-19 among socially disadvantaged populations has underscored the need for models that address the disease in the context of the whole person.

In this SEN, AHRQ is interested in critical research focused on increasing our understanding of how to effectively and efficiently deliver care to individuals and populations at risk for or with COVID-19 infection and PASC, also known as long COVID. AHRQ is interested applications that develop, implement, and evaluate interventions and models of care, including those targeting the specific needs and challenges of disadvantaged populations and people living with MCC, that improve access, quality, and outcomes of care. Proposed studies may focus on the patient, clinician, practice, or system level interventions. Multilevel interventions are encouraged. AHRQ also encourages projects that produce and disseminate timely insights that can be used to improve patient care and inform healthcare delivery during both routine operations and public health emergencies.