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Comparative Effectiveness Research: Do Employers Care? What Will They Do? What About Productivity?

This article discusses a survey of employers, conducted by the Benfield Group and supported by the National Pharmaceutical Council, that found that one of the benefits employers are looking for from comparative effectiveness research (CER) is more information about which treatments help with productivity. While data is beginning to emerge regarding the links between good health, productivity and employee wellness programs, this survey shows that most companies (or the benefit consultants they work with) do not have access to the information or any ability to use it in their decision-making.

Specifically, while fewer than one-third of employers or their vendors currently use information about absence, disability and return to work assessing the impact of alternative treatments, 70 percent indicate that such information would be “Important” or “Very Important” within CER. And, while fewer than 25% now use information about the impact of alternative treatments on work productivity in making decisions, over 60% rate this information as “Important” or “Very Important” in CER.

In a more direct analysis of the benefit of CER to employers, respondents were asked how they would handle two specific scenarios related to treatments for low back pain and diabetes. According to the findings, employers are generally more likely to take action based on CER evidence regarding diabetes. The reasons given include the “perceived higher total costs” of treating diabetes and a belief that it would be easier to make changes to address diabetes based on “already generally accepted guidelines for treatment.”

In addition to productivity related information, additional survey findings of note include clear messages about what other types of information employers want: “clinical outcomes of alternative treatments; information comparing utilization and cost of treatments; information about which treatments work best for specific population, and; comparative safety of alternative treatments.”

Although a subscription to the JOEM is required to read this article, the full study, survey instrument and video are available on NPC's website.

Blog Post

#TBT: Health Care Quality Has Long Been an Important Issue

As part of our “Throwback Thursday” blog series, we’re taking a look at a topic that’s currently in the news and tagging it with previous...
Newsletter Volume

E.V.I.dently October 2014

Message From NPCMind the Gap: Improving Quality Measurement in Accountable Care SystemsOur society is obsessed with quality, from the cars that we...
Blog Post

CER Tweets of the Week: Fendrick Elected to IOM, GAO Calls to Fill PCORI Methodology Committee Seat & More (October 20-24)

This week, comparative effectiveness research (CER) stakeholders tweeted about new appointments and open positions at top health care organizations....
YouTube Videos

Why are quality measures important? We asked health care thought leaders to tell us why.

Quality measurement, tied to financial incentives, is one of many approaches accountable care programs are using to promote system-wide improvement....
Press Release

National Pharmaceutical Council, Discern Health Examine Accountable Care Measures for Specialty Care and Innovative Treatment

Washington, DC (October 28, 2014)— Measuring the quality and cost of health care is an integral part of accountable care, but new research from the...
Press Release

NPC Study Outlines When & How Health Decision-Makers Should Consider Individual Patient Differences

Washington, DC (July 29, 2014)—New research led by the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) can assist health care stakeholders to understand when...
Press Release

Specialty Medications: Shifting the Focus From “How Much” We Spend to “How Well” We Spend

Washington, DC, June 9, 2014—As health care decision-makers grapple with how to ensure access to specialty medications, the University of Michigan...
Press Release

NPC Annual Stakeholder Survey: Comparative Effectiveness Research Is Important, But Impact on Health Care Decision-Making Is Still on the Horizon

(Washington, DC, May 19, 2014)—A new survey of health care stakeholders reveals continued optimism for the use of comparative effectiveness research...
Commentary and Testimony Page

The State of CER and the Environment for Health Care Decision Making

This month, NPC released its third annual survey on stakeholders’ views on comparative effectiveness research (CER), “The State of Comparative...
Commentary and Testimony Page

Keeping Our Eye on the CER Ball

Until the cherry blossoms begin to bloom later next month, most of the water cooler conversations in Washington will focus on the federal budget....
Commentary and Testimony Page

Leveling the Playing Field? Could a Landmark Decision Alter the CER Communications Landscape?

A growing chorus of voices is publicly sharing data on the effectiveness of treatment options, but one viewpoint has long been shut out of key areas...
Commentary and Testimony Page

Living Up to Its Name? The Role of Patient-Centered Research

Anyone who has ever received bad news from his or her health care provider or held a loved one’s hand when a diagnosis was delivered can understand...
YouTube Videos

Why are quality measures important? We asked health care thought leaders to tell us why.

Quality measurement, tied to financial incentives, is one of many approaches accountable care programs are using to promote system-wide improvement....
YouTube Videos

Access to Specialty Medications & Value-Based Insurance Design

Specialty medications have been making health care headlines because of their effectiveness and higher costs. How can we ensure that patients will...
YouTube Videos

Real-World Impact of Comparative Effectiveness Research Findings on Clinical Practice

National Pharmaceutical Council Chief Science Officer Robert W. Dubois, MD, PhD, discusses a peer-reviewed study suggesting that changes are needed...
YouTube Videos

Shifting the Focus From "How Much" to "How Well" We Spend Our Health Care Dollars

A. Mark Fendrick, MD, director of the Center for Value-Based Insurance design at the University of Michigan, highlights the key findings from a...
Blog Post

#TBT: Health Care Quality Has Long Been an Important Issue

As part of our “Throwback Thursday” blog series, we’re taking a look at a topic that’s currently in the news and tagging it with previous...
Blog Post

CER Tweets of the Week: Fendrick Elected to IOM, GAO Calls to Fill PCORI Methodology Committee Seat & More (October 20-24)

This week, comparative effectiveness research (CER) stakeholders tweeted about new appointments and open positions at top health care organizations....
Blog Post

CER Tweets of the Week: The State of Accountable Care, JAMA on PCORI’s Perspective, Real-World Impact of CER (October 13-17)

Health care stakeholders tweeted about accountable care, patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) and the real-world impact of comparative...
Blog Post

CER Tweets of the Week: Health Affairs on the High Value of Specialty Medications, Pediatric CER Guidelines, Patient Heterogeneity (October 6-10)

This week, comparative effectiveness research (CER) stakeholders tweeted articles about specialty medications, CER guidelines and individual...

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