Comparative Effectiveness: Knowledge Not Coverage
This article was originally published in RPM Report
The health industry's trade association supports a more formal and expanded federal comparative effectiveness research effort, with one caveat: the effort must be devoted to collecting and disseminating informaiton and not be tied directly to coverae or payment decisions. That aligns the health plans with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and creates a potent base for getting comparative effectiveness into upcoming health reform efforts.
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Comparative Effectiveness Research is a phrase with talisman qualities inside the Beltway -- ascribed with almost magical properties to improve product/treatment choices and drive down health care expenditures. Outside the political sphere, the meaning of the term and concepts about how to effect CER are less clear.
The fight over comparative effectiveness research is taking place but the focus should be around creating standards.
Key Republican lawmakers who could play a role in a compromise over health reform have come out strongly against comparative effectiveness research. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Baucus has been listening and is taking opposition seriously.