Overview

We are seeking proposals of up to $350,000 for research projects, each lasting up to two years and focused on generating rigorous new evidence that will advance the U.S. health care system’s capacity to effectively identify, manage, and improve outcomes of patients with CKD. Projects that address implications for health equity and projects that focus on reducing health disparities will be given preference (described further below). The methodological approach of these projects should be chosen to best answer the research question, and could include observational studies using existing sources of data and rigorous methodological approaches, prospective development and testing of interventions, or the application of implementation science methods.

The application deadline has passed.

We will consider research projects that are broadly focused on improving care delivery for patients with CKD and reducing health disparities, and are particularly interested in projects in the following three areas:

Improving access to specialty providers: Lack of access to nephrologists and other specialty providers is a major barrier to optimal care of CKD and management of its comorbidities, such as hypertension and diabetes. Improving access to specialized care is a key step to slowing the progression of CKD. Possible research topics may include but are not limited to:

Improving uptake of evidence-based treatment to prevent progression of CKD: Despite a substantial knowledge base about effective diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for individuals with CKD, they often do not receive evidence-based care from their providers or do not implement recommended therapies. Possible research topics may include but are not limited to:

Improving the financing and delivery models to improve care for individuals with CKD and ESRD: Care for people with advanced CKD is often fragmented, with providers working in silos that do not communicate well, and stems from perverse economic incentives that prevent optimal care for patients, with in-center hemodialysis as a default pathway. This can result in under-referral and underutilization of therapies like kidney transplantation, of cost-effective therapies that improve quality of life such as home-based dialysis, and of palliative care approaches that may be most consistent with some patients’ values. Possible research topics may include but are not limited to:

Proposal Details

We invite LDI Senior Fellows to propose ideas for one-to-two-year research projects. Awarded projects are expected to begin March 6, 2023

An Advisory Committee, made up of LDI members, Monogram Health, and other kidney disease experts, will be available to guide the direction of accepted projects, including connections to academic experts and operational partners within their purview.

Projects funded under this initiative may be able to gain access to patient data collected by Monogram Health related to its programs. However, the quality of proposals will not be evaluated based on their use (or non-use) of data or other resources and connections from Monogram Health. Penn LDI resources include assistance in translation and dissemination of completed research.

Available Data on Monogram Health

Monogram Health is a next-generation, value-based, chronic condition specialty provider serving patients living with chronic kidney and end-stage renal disease as well as their related metabolic disorders. Monogram seeks to fill systemic gaps and transform the way nephrology, primary care, and chronic condition treatments are delivered. Monogram’s innovative, in-home approach utilizes a suite of technology-enabled clinical services, including benefit management and complex care coordination services that improve health outcomes while lowering medical costs across the health care continuum. By increasing access to evidence-based care pathways and addressing social determinants of health, Monogram has emerged as an industry leader in championing greater health equity and slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease.

As part of the ongoing relationship between Penn LDI and Monogram Health, research proposals submitted through the Penn LDI Research Initiative on Improving Management of Chronic Kidney Disease have the option of obtaining access to Monogram Health data for research purposes. Note: Use of Monogram Health data is not a requirement of this RFP.

Monogram Health Member Data

Longitudinal data is available on approximately 16,000 patients enrolled in Monogram Health’s services. Information includes:

  • Disease state and progression
  • Comorbidities
  • A1C measures
  • Blood pressure measures
  • Social determinants of health
  • Zip code data
  • Mortality information
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Demographics
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Clinical Diagnosis
  • Disease Progression

Additional electronic health record (EHR) data is available from patients under direct management through the Monogram Kidney Care Practice. Athena Health is utilized by Monogram Practice employees and connects to CareConnect Health and Carequality to aggregate clinical information from providers outside of the Monogram Practice.

Medical and Pharmacy Claims Data

Claims are available on approximately 65,000 members attributed to Monogram Health from nine partners, including two national insurers. These claims include 34 states, and primarily cover the Southeast, Mid-South, West, North, and Gulf regions of the United States. Claim types include both medical and pharmacy claims data and are available for both Monogram Health enrolled and non-enrolled patients.

  • Provider Identifier
  • Procedure Codes
  • Diagnosis
  • Date and Place of Service
  • Drug Dispensed (NDC)

Lab Test Results Data

Lab tests ordered by both Monogram-affiliated and non-affiliated providers are available on patients enrolled in Monogram-provided care.

  • Lab Test Name
  • LOINC Codes
  • Result (Numeric and Text)

Provider Data

  • Credentials
  • Affiliations
  • State

Eligibility

Proposals must be led by an LDI Senior Fellow. See more information on how to become an LDI Senior Fellow. University of Pennsylvania faculty without LDI affiliations and LDI Associate Fellows are permitted to be co-investigators on proposals. Investigators outside Penn are permitted to be co- investigators if sufficient justification is provided for why their expertise is needed. 

For investigators without substantial research expertise in the CKD domain, LDI may be able to provide connections to collaborators with that CKD expertise. 

Application Process and Timeline

The Grant Review Committee will select two to three projects, each lasting one to two years. Applications are due Tuesday, January 31, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Budget

Project budgets may not exceed a total $350,000 (across all years). Faculty salaries and benefits may be included in the budget only if there is a strong justification for doing so and the salaries and benefits combined must not exceed 30% of the award. Indirect costs will not be covered.

Selection Criteria

LDI plans to fund up to three proposals in this funding cycle. All proposals will be reviewed by the initiative’s Grant Review Committee, made up by LDI experts, a representative from Monogram Health, and other kidney disease experts; as needed, additional content experts will be asked to evaluate grants.

Proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

Other Requirements

How to Apply

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

Proposals are due Tuesday, January 31, 2023.