Are Value Assessment Frameworks Ready for Prime Time?

An analysis from NPC, published in Value in Health, examined efforts from three organizations actively conducting value assessments.

Value assessment frameworks are increasingly being used by health care decision makers as tools to measure the relative value of services and treatments. However, a new analysis from the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) found that, while “value assessment frameworks are moving closer to meeting the challenge of accurately measuring value and reliably informing health care decisions,” these frameworks – in their current state – are not ready for prime time and should not be “the sole input for these decisions.”

The analysis, by NPC Chief Science Officer and Executive Vice President Robert W. Dubois, M.D., Ph.D., and Vice President for Health Services Research Kimberly Westrich, M.A., was published in Value in Health and examined efforts from three organizations actively conducting value assessments. Their analysis used NPC’s Guiding Practices for Patient-Centered Value Assessment as a guide and built on an earlier NPC evaluation of value frameworks.

The new analysis studied the evolution of value assessment frameworks in the past two years, focusing on three frameworks that are actively conducting assessments: the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), the Innovation and Value Initiative (IVI) and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). Dr. Dubois and Ms. Westrich found that “while each framework has strengths and limitations, all have clear opportunities for improvement, and none is fully matured and ready to support health care decision-making.” Areas of concern include the degree of patient centeredness, transparency and reproducibility.

Dr. Dubois and Ms. Westrich also suggested that frameworks should be regularly updated and take into consideration all aspects of our health care system. Considering all of these limitations, value assessment frameworks should, at most, “be only one of many tools in the toolbox” utilized by health care decision-makers, they concluded.

An accompanying commentary by Peter J. Neumann, ScD, Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health at the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts Medical Center, appears in the same issue of Value in Health

Read the NPC study online in Value in Health to learn more.