Frequently Asked Questions

Check to find the answers to your questions about the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) programs and activities. You can search by category or key words. You can also send us your questions or website feedback here. We will respond to your requests based on the best available scientific evidence and research from our Agency.

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The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) convenes peer review groups to conduct a scientific and technical evaluation of grant applications. With the new policy, it is AHRQ's intent that priority populations be included in studies such that the research design will explicitly allow for valid analyses to be conducted. Specifically related to the issue of peer review of grant applications, AHRQ reviewers will assess the proposed research plan, including the applicant's discussion of intent to include one or more priority populations or the justification when priority populations are absent. Reviewers will also assess proposed study plans for outreach, recruitment, and retention of study participants, as well as the methods for conducting subgroup analyses for priority populations if applicable. These criteria will be factored in as a component of the overall assigned score for the application.

The policy does not mean that Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) will not fund a grant if the project does not include any of the priority populations within its research design. Rather, AHRQ intends that the overall portfolio of health services research conducted and supported by the Agency will be inclusive of all priority populations (inner city; rural; low income; minority; women; children; elderly; and those with special health care needs, including those who have disabilities, need chronic care, or need end of life health care).

With this policy, the goal is that AHRQ-supported research findings and related advances in health care practice and policy will be applicable to individuals from these populations.

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Yes. This is one of a number of actions that, per HHS grants policy, require awarding agency prior approval. The grantee must submit a written request to change the Principal Investigator (PI) of a grant. The request should include the effective date of the change, a justification for the change, qualifications of the proposed replacement PI, the curriculum vitae of the proposed replacement PI, level of effort to be committed by this individual, complete current Other Support for the proposed PI, and budgetary changes resulting from the proposed change. The request is to be signed by the departing PI (if possible), the proposed PI, and an authorized institutional official.

If the departing PI is to remain on the grant in any capacity, his or her new title and level of effort should be indicated as well as whether or not he or she will be acting in a key personnel capacity.

The grantee institution should submit this information to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days before the expected date of the original PI's departure.

Approval is not automatic. If AHRQ deems the proposed replacement PI unacceptable, the grantee may propose another individual. If an acceptable replacement cannot be found, the grant may have to be terminated.

In general, the grantee may make minor changes in methodology, approach, or other aspects of the project objectives after an award has been issued. However, the grantee must obtain written prior approval from the awarding office for changes in scope, direction, or other changes that constitute a significant change from the objectives or purposes of the approved project. For details, refer to the Post-award Administration section of the HHS Grants Policy Statement (PDF, 1.354 MB).

It is strongly recommended that the PI consult with the grantee institution's sponsored projects office for guidance before contacting AHRQ staff to determine if prior approval is needed.

Written requests for prior approval, signed by both the Principal Investigator and an authorized institutional official, are to be submitted to the attention of the grants management specialist named on the Notice of Award. Official approval or denial of the request will be provided to the grantee by the AHRQ grants management staff.

AHRQ program staff will be consulted for their recommendation as appropriate but are not authorized to provide official approval to the grantee, as program staff approval is not binding on the awarding agency.

Grant applications selected for funding by AHRQ are funded in annual increments known as "budget periods" based on the needs articulated in the competing application and as approved by the Agency. A small number of AHRQ grants are multi-year funded (MYF) awards (awards in which the budget period and project period are the same and are longer than 12 months). For all AHRQ awards, continued support after the first 12 months requires the annual submission of a financial assistance request in the form of either a progress report or a noncompeting continuation application, as specified in the terms of award. The RPPR or PHS 2590 continuation application is to be submitted to AHRQ 3 months before the anniversary date of the award. Refer to the terms of award on the Notice of Award for more details.

All AHRQ grantees, except recipients of multi-year funded (MYF) awards (awards in which the budget period and project period are the same and are longer than 12 months) must use the Research Performance Project Report (RPPR) for progress reports submitted January 1, 2015, and beyond. Recipients of MYF awards must submit the PHS 2590 Non-Competing Continuation Progress Report, rather than the RPPR, until instructed otherwise.

The RPPR is a module in the eRA Commons system. The RPPR Instruction Guide (PDF, 4 MB) is available on the NIH RPPR Web page under Resources. Most AHRQ RPPR instructions that differ from those of NIH are noted in the instructions and on this page.

Go to AHRQ's Noncompeting Application Requirements page for more details regarding submission of RPPRs or PHS2590s to AHRQ.

Funding for future years will not be provided without the submission of a non-competing continuation application.

Actions that require prior approval must be requested in writing. The request must be endorsed by an authorized institutional official and is to be submitted to the attention of the grants management specialist named on the Notice of Award. Official approval or denial of the request will be provided to the grantee by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) grants management staff. AHRQ program staff will be consulted for their recommendation as appropriate but are not authorized to provide official approval to the grantee, as program staff approval is not binding on the awarding agency.

If the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is the cognizant Federal agency for your institution, you will negotiate your indirect cost rate with the HHS Division of Cost Allocation (DCA).

Please refer to the DCA website for further information.

For information on funding opportunities, including grant announcements and policy notices that apply to grants, go to Funding Opportunities page.

The full text of requests for applications and grant announcements from AHRQ is published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, which is available online at https://grants.nih.gov/funding/.

Home and community-based services (HCBS) are long-term care services provided in a noninstitutional setting (not in a nursing home or an intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded). The services encompass a range of health, health-related, and social support services including personal assistance services such as bathing, dressing, and eating, case management, home health care, homemaker services, habilitation and therapy services, and respite services, among others.

These services are:

  • Used by persons who lose independence as a consequence of physical, cognitive, and mental impairments.
  • Also provided to persons at the end of life who need palliative care to maintain their quality of life.
  • Provided to children and adults with developmental disabilities and/or mental illness that require assistance to achieve or maintain age-appropriate functioning.

HCBS can be participant-directed, provider-managed, or both and may be delivered in an individual's home, community-based setting, or small, alternative residential setting, such as a group home or assisted living facility. Various "waiver" authorities of the Social Security Act permit States flexibility in how they offer services under their Medicaid programs.

Medicaid HCBS are frequently authorized under Section 1915(c) of that Act, but this can vary by State and program authority.

Go to more information about Medicaid HCBS 1915(c) waivers.

Go to more information on HCBS.



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