A new federal program will make nearly $200 million in grant funding available through fiscal 2019 to build a data infrastructure for patient-centered outcomes research.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation are collaborating “to identify strategic opportunities for building a comprehensive, interoperable and sustainable infrastructure for patient-centered outcomes research,” according to an announcement from the agencies.

The funding, authorized under the health care reform law, is complementary but separate from another recent initiative, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, which is offering $68 million in grants to support Clinical Data Research Networks and Patient-Powered Research Networks. These networks would focus on comparative treatment research. Letters of intent for this funding opportunity, also reform law-authorized, are due on June 9.

The new initiative by ONC and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation will receive early assistance from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago under a 10-month contract. NORC will assemble advisory groups to assess the standards, policies and services needed to establish the data infrastructure for outcomes research. ONC soon will release additional information on the initiative, including the posting of documents for public comment.

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