Sunday, May 9, 2010

Disability Center Established

The HHS Office on Disability awarded over $6 million under ARRA to establish a Center of Excellence in Research on Disability Services, Care Coordination, and Integration. The contract was awarded to Mathematica Policy Research Inc. for a two year period and will help build the infrastructure necessary to support and conduct research on the effectiveness and comparative effectiveness of systems caring for people with disabilities.

“The data collected will enable the Office on Disability and CMS to examine the effectiveness of different services being provided, and in turn, will improve care for people with disabilities,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The Center will identify data sources, evaluate the usability of data, conduct research, and disseminate scientifically and clinically relevant information to help patients, providers, policy makers, consumers, caregivers, and family members make decisions on healthcare.

The key component of this effort is to collaborate with CMS and their Chronic Conditions Warehouse (CCW). “By linking existing Medicaid data sources and other datasets relevant to disability to the CCW, the Center will be able to increase the use of CCW information to do research on people with disabilities and/or chronic conditions,” said Rosaly Correa-de-Araujo, M.D. PhD, Deputy Director of the Office on Disability and the technical and scientific lead for the initiative.

In addition, Medicaid data with information on state plans and waiver services to be supplied by specific states will be assessed and used to identify and propose ways to achieve greater consistency on how services are used and defined.