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Conservative Therapies for Lower Back Pain (OptumLabs/UHC/APTA)
Deadline: April 13, 2017 05:00 PM

This deadline has passed and is no longer active

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and UnitedHealthcare (UHC), in collaboration with OptumLabs, are excited to offer this funding opportunity to address conservative therapies for low back pain. 

The primary goal is to identify risk factors associated with the development of long-term opioid use and misuse. Factors should include the provider type seen initially and during early management for low back pain (LBP), the role of physical therapy as the initial provider type or provided during early management for LBP, and patient clinical characteristics and demographics.

The project will define the potential impact of early physical therapy and other non-opioid related strategies to address LBP, with specific attention to costs, utilization, and quality outcomes. Another goal is to identify opportunities to accelerate translation of study outcomes via practical strategies and policies that payers, providers, patients and other stakeholder channels should consider.

This funding opportunity is being offered to OptumLabs Partners, with expertise in health services research, observational studies using claims data and a particular focus on low back pain management. This project will leverage the existing OptumLabs Data Warehouse (OLDW) which includes administrative claims, EHR-derived clinical data and sociodemographic data.

The total funding award being offered is $200,000 plus the fees for an OLDW project sandbox. The $200,000 award may cover direct project costs with no more than 10% indirect institutional costs. Organizations should propose a budget in accordance with a project to be completed within the timeline. 

Only OptumLabs partners, which includes UC affiliates, are eligible to submit proposals. Parties not under an active master agreement with OptumLabs are eligible to participate as a collaborator on the project, but will be required to team with an OptumLabs partner who has full research status related to the use of OLDW.

Submission and Selection Process and Timeline
This funding opportunity opens on March 15, 2017. Partners considering responding to this proposal are invited to submit questions about this RFP by March 20 that OptumLabs will address via a webinar to be hosted on March 21 at 3PM ET. Respondents’ proposals must be submitted, via email, to pamela.hansen@optum.com, no later than Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 11:59pm ET.

See the full award notice for complete details on the submission process. Additionally, the OptumLabs application template can be found here. 

Proposal review and award selection – a selection committee comprised of representatives from OptumLabs, American Physical Therapy Association, UHC, and Optum Physical Health will score the submissions based on the enclosed scoring rubric and selection criteria (see Appendix A). All respondents will be notified of the selection decision on or before Monday, April 24, 2017.

Request for Proposals Open:

  • Formal announcement of Request for Proposal - March 15
  • Partner respondents submit RFP questions - March 20
  • Overview of RFP (Q&A) - March 21
  • AMGA Focus Group results shared with partners - March 28
  • RFP application deadline - April 13

Review and Selection:

  • Committee member review and scoring April 14 – April 20
  • Grant notification April 24

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