Fifth Annual Survey on CER & Health Care Decision-Making: What Can We Expect This Year?


Every year since 2011, we’ve been keeping our finger on the pulse of health care stakeholders to gauge their opinions about comparative effectiveness research (CER) and its impact on health care decision-making. Through this annual survey, we’ve learned a lot about which organizations are perceived as influential in areas such as prioritizing, funding, conducting and monitoring CER, and about the status of other issues affecting the current health care environment.

NPC’s Kimberly Westrich, vice president of health services research, heads the annual survey in collaboration with Social & Scientific Systems. We caught up with Ms. Westrich and asked her about the survey, how its results have evolved over the years, and what to expect this year.

The first survey was fielded in 2010/2011. Can you tell us a little about what was going on in the health care landscape then, and what prompted NPC to conduct this survey?

CER was gaining prominence from an infusion of federal funds and the establishment of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) through the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We wanted to use the survey to set a baseline for where key stakeholders believed we were on key issues related to CER and its use for health care decision-making, with future surveys tracking progress and trends.

What are some of the major CER trends you’ve seen over the last five years?

The biggest trend has been the clear ascent of PCORI as a key player in the CER space. In the early years of the survey, their role in areas such as establishing research standards and priorities, and funding the research, was viewed as supporting, even minimal. Now they are viewed as having a leading role in many areas.

You’ve added a question or two in recent years, such as the use of real-world evidence, completeness of current CER, and considering individual patient responses—what prompted the additions?

Since the initiation of the survey, several significant issues emerged in the CER landscape and it was important to incorporate them into the issues that we were tracking. The use of real-world evidence, for example, is vital for health care decision-making.

Finally, can you give us a sneak peek into what we can expect to see this year?

I have to save the good stuff for the webinar, but let’s just say that each year I’m struck by how optimistic the stakeholders are about the future impact of CER on health care decision-making.

For more detailed information on previous survey results, visit NPC’s website. To find out the 2015 results, be sure to register for our March 26 webinar at 12:30 pm ET when Ms. Westrich will be joined by Joe Selby, MD, MPH, executive director, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute; Lisa Simpson, MB, BCh, MPH, FAAP, president and CEO, AcademyHealth; and Dan Leonard, MA, president, NPC.