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June 2007

Upcoming HCFO Special Topic Solicitation to be Released on June 25th

Health Care Costs: Research to Inform Policy

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, through its Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) Program, will be issuing a call for proposals to conduct research and analyses on the complex causes and potential solutions to rising health care costs in support of the Foundation’s activities to increase coverage. AcademyHealth is managing the solicitation in its role as the national program office for the HCFO Initiative.


Rising health care costs affect the individual, the employer, the provider, the private insurer, the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and a host of other stakeholders. Unrestrained cost growth makes the search for new insurance products and benefit packages more pressing, yet it is difficult to accurately price these products or know the impact on use and overall costs. Further, understanding what constitutes affordable coverage and how to subsidize coverage for those who cannot afford market prices is also a complex undertaking.

Policymakers, researchers, providers, and health plans have made various attempts to define and quantify the extent of the problem, as well as the root causes. There also have been a multitude of public and private solutions proposed to address various components of rising health care costs. However, there are a number of knowledge gaps that hinder the search for solutions.

Proposed Application Criteria

All projects will begin on January 1, 2008. There is no predetermined dollar amount, however, projects should be structured as to not exceed 18 months. Researchers should have a demonstrated track record in health services research, economics, or financing. Junior researchers may apply as the principal investigator. However, to be competitive, the proposal must provide evidence that there is sufficient senior research oversight and support.

Application Procedure

This solicitation is open to all qualified applicants. Unlike the general HCFO grantmaking process, this solicitation features a batched application process. Therefore, all proposals submitted under this solicitation will be reviewed simultaneously and competitively.

Proposed Timeline

  • Solicitation Released – Monday, June 25
  • Brief Proposals due – Monday, August 6
  • Full proposals due (by invitation only) Monday, October 1
  • Funding decisions made – late November

For More Information

  • Solicitation will be announced on
  • To ensure you receive the solicitation announcement, please check the HCFO Web site on or after Monday, June 25th