A Look Back at 2016

As I reflect back on our work in 2016, it was clear that our efforts were focused on value, a topic that dominated the news and health care conversations. Whether it was considering how to measure the value of a treatment, using sound evidence to make value-based decisions or having conversations with patient organizations about the needs they value most, NPC was an active participant in the dialogue.
Value assessment frameworks were a main issue, and NPC has led the conversation about the challenges with these frameworks and spearheaded conversations to improve them, convening stakeholders throughout the health care sector to evolve the field in a positive direction. Make no mistake, these conversations are important—if we get it wrong, these tools could limit patients’ ability to get the new and innovative therapies they need, but if we get it right, frameworks could become valuable and useful tools. To facilitate these discussions, we published helpful tools like our Guiding Practices for Patient-Centered Value Assessment, designed to help those developing frameworks to ensure these are effective tools to support value in patient care and outcomes, and provided constructive feedback to framework-makers like the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review and the American Society of Clinical Oncology on ways to improve their frameworks.

On a broader scale of engagement, NPC hosted a conference on Assessing Value: Promise & Pitfalls, bringing together framework developers, payers, providers and patient groups to discuss the still-evolving field of value frameworks. Panelists agreed that value assessment frameworks are here to stay—making NPC’s work to improve frameworks all the more critical. To continue these conversations, NPC capped a year dominated by value conversations with a short, animated “explainer” video to help all health care stakeholders, including patients, understand the components and uses of value frameworks.

Medicines can have great value, but those treatments have to be accessible to the patients who need them—and with the rising cost of health care like high-deductible plans, that can be a challenge. Among our research projects, we looked at dynamic approaches to consumer cost-sharing as health care costs rise, as well as ways to reduce low-value care to explore ways to bring patients the best treatments as efficiently as possible. Our research also examined how to improve bundled payments to balance access to care, and how accountable care organizations consider medicines as part of their health care operations.

How we access and develop data using good evidence, and how we share and distribute that information, has a huge impact on understanding and communicating value. NPC has been deeply involved with these issues in 2016, advancing good science and evidence through research and conversations in all of these areas, including the use of real-world evidence, manufacturer communications to facilitate conversations that can help patients get the medicines they need, and more.

These conversations will not end when we count down the last seconds of 2016 on New Year’s Eve. These will likely continue to be big issues in 2017, and NPC will continue to lead the way in exploring these areas. With projects planned on assessing the full value of therapies beyond price, achieving high value health care by eliminating low-value practices, addressing the problem of cost-related non-adherence and exploring the critical need to share real-world evidence, it’s shaping up to be a busy 2017—and we at NPC can’t wait to get started.