LDI-Penn Medicine Research Laboratory: 2023 Request for Proposals
Topic for 2024: Optimizing Efficiency and Value in Health Care Delivery
Application Deadline: Monday, November 13, 2023 at 11:59 PM
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.
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.
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:
- Impact. The significance of the problem, opportunities for new insights into how community-based healthcare can be expanded and improve access to the care delivered by Penn Medicine, particularly within traditionally underserved communities.
- Investigators(s) and Team. The qualifications of the PI, the background and experience of the investigator team, and established relationship with an operational partner.
- Methods. Methodological rigor and appropriateness of the scientific plan.
- Theme. Priority will be given to proposals focused on better understanding how to improve the efficiency and value of health care delivery.
- Timeline and Feasibility. Projects must be feasible to complete in one year. Priority will be given to proposals that will provide insights to Penn Medicine operational leaders’ planning for Fiscal Year 2026 (July 2025 to June 2026).
- Future Potential. The likelihood of projects leading to new initiatives or changes in the delivery of care for Penn Medicine and plans for scaling. Intervention-based studies must articulate the financial sustainability of proposed strategies, including (but not limited to) how the proposal would be financially supported once scaled.
- Awarded projects are expected to start in January 2024.
- After notice of award and as a condition of funding, PIs must submit a letter to LDI from Penn’s IRB indicating approval or exemption.
- All awardees will be required to submit and present two (2) reports (see below) to members of the Research Laboratory’s Joint Steering Committee. The Final Report and presentation will include both the Joint Steering Committee and Penn Medicine’s executive leadership team. They may also be asked to submit additional updates via email and/or meeting with Research Lab leadership.
- Interim Report (Due: July 1, 2024)
- Final Report (Due: January 1, 2025)
- Investigators must acknowledge the support of LDI and Penn Medicine on all publications and other products of the program.
- Investigators may be asked to present their results at an LDI seminar and to serve as a reviewer of future proposals to LDI or the Research Lab.
How to Apply
LDI Senior Fellows should complete the online application form, which includes:
- Project Abstract (not to exceed 250 words)
- Project Description (up to three pages, single-spaced, 11-point font minimum, 0.5-inch margins top, bottom, left, right for all pages) which contains the following sections and suggested size:
- Aims and Significance (1 page)
- Scalability (0.5 page)
- Research Plan and Methodology (2 pages)
- Should describe data to be used or how the data will be collected; how key variables will be measured; and an analysis plan.
- Project Budget
- Proposals must include an itemized budget of up to $65,000.
- An accompanying budget justification should clearly describe and justify the specific items to be funded by the grant.
- The budget may include the time of an LDI-dedicated analyst with experience pulling data from Penn Medicine’s data store and warehouse. Please contact Traci Chupik for further details about this analyst’s cost structure.
- The budget may include project salaries and benefits (e.g., faculty or staff), consultant fees, data management, supplies, and other direct expenses. Budgets may not include travel to meetings to present work, equipment, or indirect costs.
- Project Timeline and Milestones
- Milestones should be identified along the 1-year timeline. Milestones should be well described, quantifiable, and scientifically justified benchmarks at critical junctures. This section may also include alternative strategies should any component efforts fail to perform as expected.
- Principal Investigator’s Biosketch with selected relevant publications, current research support, and research support received during the past three years (follow current NIH biosketch guidelines)
- Other Pending or Funded Grant Proposals for the same or similar projects
- Co-Investigators’ abbreviated Biosketch(es) with selected relevant publications (not to exceed 2 pages)
- Letter of Support from a key operational partner, detailing the partner’s specific role in the project and support for the project, including that the project is valuable, feasible, and has potential for long-term application. (This should be uploaded in the appendices)
- Appendices, limited to essential information that is directly relevant to the proposal, such as a pilot survey form or a Penn Medicine administrator or operational lead’s support letter.