Six months after President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law, a number of the law’s provisions went into effect. Among those provisions was the creation of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and the selection of a board of governors to oversee the new entity.
The members of this new board were appointed by the US Comptroller General, and were selected from multiple and varied stakeholder organizations around the country. The first members of the PCORI Board of Governors must make many crucial decisions in the coming months, decisions that will have significant impact on the future of CER and its utility for patients and health care decision makers. The PCORI Board is charged with establishing the Institute, hiring staff and getting it up and running. Additionally, the Board is charged with determining and formally adopting the research priorities and research agenda for the organization. The PCORI Board also will work with a standing methodology committee, to be appointed by the Comptroller General, to develop sound and standards and methodologies for the conduct of research, and the translation of research results in a useful and understandable way.
As the PCORI begins its important work, NPC will continue its focus on developing a better understanding of the many intricacies of CER. Among the key tenets of a strong CER enterprise are four considerations that NPC and numerous other stakeholders believe are foundational:
- CER must be conducted and applied appropriately, by starting with good, relevant data; using appropriate methods to analyze that data; and translating the results in a way that is useful, understandable and actionable for patients, providers, and other health care decision makers.
- CER should consider comprehensive measures, addressing patient preferences, health outcomes, and quality of life.
- There should be broad opportunity for discussion of CER findings by all key stakeholders who generate or disseminate this information.
- Harmonizing appropriate standards for CER generation and interpretation will enable a more predictable environment for the adoption and use of evidence in decision making by payers, physicians, patients, and other health care decision makers.
As with any new undertaking, it will take time and thoughtful input from a wide range of interested parties to fully implement PCORI’s activities. NPC looks forward to being part of that collaboration.