The New England Healthcare Institute, a quality-research and policy group based in Cambridge, Mass., has issued a set of recommendations that it urges the Institute of Medicine to include in its forthcoming guidance to Congress on developing a national comparative-effectiveness research program.
The recommendations, included in the white paper Balancing Act: Comparative Effectiveness Research and Innovation in U.S. Health Care, would help design a national comparative-effectiveness program that identifies the best clinical interventions while not discouraging innovation, said NEHI President Wendy Everett. Policymakers should make supporting innovationwhich is critical to medical advancements that improve quality of life for patients everywherean explicit goal of comparative-effectiveness research, she said.
The NEHIs recommendations include focusing comparative-effectiveness studies on identifying the clinical values of medical interventions; setting a broad research agenda that looks at the effectiveness of healthcare delivery systems as well as the efficacy of drugs and medical devices; and creating new research methodologies that focus on real-world healthcare outcomes as opposed to clinical trial findings.
In February, lawmakers allocated some $1.1 billion in stimulus funding for a national comparative-effectiveness program. The legislation included a provision that the IOM submit a set of recommendations and priorities for the program to Congress by June 30.