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An NIH study of treatments for high blood pressure, called the ALLHAT trial, shows some of the strengths and limitations of comparative effectiveness research to improve patient care. More...
For journalists and other media professionals
Define CER as a tool to improve patient care, not as a tool for cost containment: CER has value in helping patients and providers make good decisions, but only if it answers the questions that matter to them. CER that starts with cost containment goal will not lead to studies that answer these questions, and likely will result in misapplication of findings in order to achieve cost-cutting objective. CER that begins with the goal of quality improvement can help everyone in health care make better decisions, and will ultimately lead to better health care value.
Provide information on clinical value and patient health outcomes, not cost-effectiveness assessment: Providing doctors with information about the effectiveness of new tests and treatments can help them make better treatment decisions for their patients. But if the Institute conducts cost-effectiveness research, it will end up putting a dollar value on human life based on average study results that ignore differences between patients. The Institute's research should not include cost-effectiveness determinations, which would lead to a focus on cetralized judgments about which healthcare options should be available.