“However, achieving patient-centeredness in CER requires more than additional funding. It also is essential to establish a solid policy framework to focus research on patient and provider needs and preserve the ability of physicians to choose the care that best care to the different needs of each patient. Without strong requirements to keep the patient at the center of CER, there is a substantial risk that it will lead to one-size-fits-all ‘best practices’ that prevent physicians for tailoring care to each patient’s needs.
“Over the past year, PIPC and more than 100 groups representing patients, physicians and other stakeholders have worked to ensure that patient-centered CER be included in health care reform. Senators Max Baucus (MT) and Kent Conrad (ND) have led the Senate’s efforts on strong patient-centered CER legislation, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) included in the Senate version of the health care bill. On the House side, Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-5) has led the effort to ensure good CER is a part of that chamber’s health care reform legislation. His bill (H.R. 2502) has over 60 bipartisan co-sponsors.
The legislation crafted by Sens. Baucus and Conrad and Rep. Schrader over the past year would create a sound framework for independent, sustained, and objective research that is focused on the clinical questions that matter to patients and doctors. They would create an independent institute governed by patients, providers, government officials and other stakeholders, while further strengthening safeguards to protect patient access to the treatment options they need. The bills also include important patient protections so that patients are not denied access to care based on arbitrary cost thresholds and physicians continue to have flexibility in applying the evidence to individual patient needs.
The Partnership to Improve Patient Care (PIPC) was formed in November 2008 to support new comparative effectiveness research (CER)proposals that are centered on patient and provider needs; raise awareness about the value of well-designed CER; and promote the important role of continued medical innovation as part of the solution to cost and quality challenges in health care. PIPC members include a wide range of health care organizations representing patient, provider and industry advocacy groups.