Topic for 2024: Optimizing Efficiency and Value in Health Care Delivery

The application deadline has passed.


The Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics and the University of Pennsylvania Health System announce the 3rd Annual Request for Proposals for the LDI-Penn Medicine Research Laboratory. The goals of this strategic partnership are both to advance LDI’s mission of developing generalizable health care knowledge for the nation and to generate actionable knowledge which guides Penn Medicine’s operational decisions towards ensuring that patients receive the best care.

To support this goal, this year the Research Lab solicits proposals for projects focused on improving the efficiency and value of care provided at Penn Medicine.   

Nationally, health care systems are facing increasing pressure to provide high-quality care at lower cost. There are, however, many open questions regarding how best to maintain or improve the quality of care while simultaneously improving the efficiency of the care delivered. LDI and Penn Medicine are committed to understanding and advancing the capability of health systems to provide high-value care, and are particularly interested in work that addresses known challenges such as length of stay, readmissions, documentation burden, surgical efficiency, optimal use of AI and automation, ambulatory quality, or other operational needs while preserving and advancing the quality, safety, and equity of that care.

While the LDI-Penn Medicine Research laboratory will prioritize funding applications that address value and efficiency, we will also consider proposals that seek to generation actionable findings that can promote the delivery of high-quality healthcare to all our patients, including those centered on on LDI’s focus areas

Proposal Details

We invite LDI Senior Fellows to propose ideas for one-year, collaborative projects with Penn Medicine aimed at evaluating existing services, expanding programs, or develop new programs.

Projects should answer questions that inform strategies to improve the efficiency and value in health care delivery. Projects should be of priority to Penn Medicine; should leverage existing Penn Medicine data; and can include observational analyses, testing or developing pilot interventions, and/or studying how best to implement evidence-based practices in these settings using methods from implementation science. Special consideration will be given to projects that include health equity as a specific outcome, including how equity will be measured or impacted. Successful proposals will articulate how knowledge gained from the project will help health systems in the US, particularly Penn Medicine, improve health care delivery across dimensions such as equity, efficiency, costs, quality, access, care team wellbeing, and/or health outcomes.

The proposal must be sensitive to the accelerated speed at which decisions are made by health systems and therefore must include a letter of support from an operational partner, detailing the partner’s specific role in and support for the project. Funded projects will start January 2024 and must be complete and ready to share findings to Penn Medicine executives and operational leaders by January 2025 to inform the decision-making timeline for the FY2026 (July 2025 to June 2026) budget.

The Joint Steering Committee, LDI, and Penn Medicine will be available to guide the direction of funded projects, including connections to academic experts and additional operational partners within their purview. Data needs of projects can be facilitated by (but not limited to) de-identified data from Penn Medicine’s electronic health record data warehouses, supported by an LDI-assigned analyst who can obtain data for the purposes of this initiative. Penn LDI resources include assistance in translation and dissemination of completed research.

If you have an idea but are unsure whether your project is feasible within this framework or proposed timeline, email Anna Morgan, MD, MSc, MSHP, Director of the LDI-Penn Medicine Research Laboratory. If you have an idea but need assistance identifying an operational partner, email Dr. Morgan by October 16, 2023. For general questions or questions about the submission process, email Penn LDI.


Proposals must be led by an LDI Senior Fellow. University of Pennsylvania faculty, Penn Medicine staff without LDI affiliations, and LDI Associate Fellows are permitted to be co-investigators on proposals. 

Selection Criteria

LDI will fund up to two proposals. All proposals will be reviewed by the LDI-Penn Medicine Research Laboratory Joint Steering Committee.

Proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

Other Requirements

How to Apply

LDI Senior Fellows should complete the online application form, which includes: