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Grading Evidence to Support Legislative and Budget Proposals-Veterans Health Administration's Key to Implementing the Evidence Act.

Garrido MM, Pearson Sites E, Avila CJ, Pizer SD. Grading Evidence to Support Legislative and Budget Proposals-Veterans Health Administration's Key to Implementing the Evidence Act. Value in health : the journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research. 2023 Jun 1; 26(6):902-908.

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OBJECTIVES: The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 requires cabinet-level agencies to use evidence to justify and support budget and policy making. As investigators from the Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) program, we were tasked with assisting Veterans Health Administration (VHA) leadership with the implementation of the Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018. Through meetings with stakeholders, we identified a gap in the review process for legislative and budget proposals; no systematic process existed to evaluate the supporting evidence base for proposals. METHODS: Here, we describe the development, refinement, and use of a checklist to assess the strength of evidence included in VHA legislative and budget proposals for changes to care delivery; clinical, research, and administrative operations; and staffing and workforce issues. RESULTS: The evidence assessment checklist is now part of the regular review process for VHA legislative and budget proposals. It is also being adapted for use elsewhere within the Department of Veterans Affairs. The checklist has provided a framework for briefings and training on best practices for using evidence to guide policy and budget decisions. CONCLUSION: Including evidence reviews in the legislative and budget proposal prioritization process may be an effective institutional arrangement to promote the use of evidence to inform high-level health policy decisions and to build a "culture of evidence" within the government.

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