A foundation with nearly $700 million in assets is about to launch a major research initiative focusing on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The Commonwealth Fund said in a news release Thursday that it will focus its grantmaking and research on, among other things, “tracking the Affordable Care Act’s impact.”

In 2012, Commonwealth awarded 41 grants, mostly in amounts of less than $500,000, all for healthcare-related studies and initiatives. So far this year, it has awarded 13 grants, including one entitled “Tracking Health Insurance Reform: 2013-2015” and another, “Analysis and Technical Assistance in Support of Health Reform.”

The 95-year-old fund said it is pursuing “a new direction” under President David Blumenthal, who came on board eight months ago.

This direction will include expanded policy analysis on healthcare cost issues and grants awarded to grantees bent on “improving how health care is delivered to the sickest patients; ensuring access and improving quality of care for low-income, minority, and immigrant populations; and supporting breakthroughs in health care.”

The fund’s mission is “to promote a high-performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults.” 

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