PCORI Adjusts National Priorities to Align With Addressing Disparities and Improving Healthcare Systems

August 05, 2021 by Alec Stone MA, MPA, Former ONS Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy

Many communities and underrepresented populations across the United States struggle to access quality health care (https://www.ons.org/make-difference/ons-center-advocacy-and-health-policy/position-statements/access-quality-cancer) such as screenings (https://voice.ons.org/news-and-views/text-messaging-reduces-disparities-in-colorectal-cancer-screening), prevention, and treatment. Research and organizations have an obligation to eliminate social determinants of health to change outcomes for quality care. PCORI, a U.S.-based nonprofit institute created through the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (https://www.congress.gov/bill/111th-congress/house-bill/3590), has dedicated its resources and research to advocate for these populations through the National Priorities for Research (https://www.pcori.org/research-results/about-our-research/research-we-support/national-priorities-and-research-agenda) for a decade.

PCORI’s national priorities and research agenda (https://www.pcori.org/research-results/about-our-research/research-we-support/national-priorities-and-research-agenda) guide funding allocations for comparative clinical effectiveness research that gives patients and those who care for them the ability to make informed health decisions. The institute revised its framework in May 2021 in response to public comments, and in June 2021, PCORI released five proposed national priorities for health for public comment. PCORI’s updated national priorities (https://www.pcori.org/news-release/pcori-unveils-proposed-national-priorities-health-and-invites-public-comment) include:

PCORI funding helps research projects that engage patients, providers, caregivers, and other healthcare stakeholders in their work toward those goals. One 2017 PCORI-funded study (https://www.pcori.org/blog/encouraging-colorectal-cancer-screening-among-hispanics) addressed colorectal cancer screening rates among Hispanic populations and offered (https://www.pcori.org/video/increasing-colon-cancer-screening-rates-hispanic-population?utm_source=weeklyemail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=040521) communities resources, decision support, and patient navigation. This and other PCORI-funded studies provide support and education for minority communities and offer solutions to social determinants of health, bringing the United States one step closer to creating an equal and accessible healthcare system.

ONS’s position is that everyone should have access (https://www.ons.org/make-difference/ons-center-advocacy-and-health-policy/position-statements/access-quality-cancer) to quality health care, which can include cancer screening, prevention, and treatment. Oncology nurses should have the resources and education to address social determinants of health (https://www.ons.org/articles/social-determinants-health-framework-studying-cancer-health-disparities-and-minority) and offer their patients the best care possible to overcome those barriers on their cancer journey. Learn more and join ONS in advocating for reducing disparities (https://voice.ons.org/advocacy/racism-and-covid-19-nurses-in-politics-combat-social-determinants) and promoting equity in health care through ONS’s Center for Advocacy and Health Policy (https://www.ons.org/make-difference/ons-center-advocacy-and-health-policy).

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