Jennifer Bright, CEO of Innovation and Value Initiative breaks down how value and health technology assessment can impact patients and their families.
How is value assessment/health technology assessment used and how does it impact patients?
Well, I think there’s two levels to that answer internationally, health technology assessment has been on the radar for many years, most European countries and other countries use processes of health technology assessments to make decisions about how they allocate their resources. What’s unique is in most other countries, they’re dealing with a very different healthcare system than we are here in the US, and so what we have in the United States is a very fragmented system, and by that I mean we don’t have one single payer, we have many payers, we have people who are paying their own out of pocket, we have Medicare, we have Medicaid, we have commercial insurers, we have self-insurers, and each one of those decision-maker actors have different decision points, different patient populations that they covered lives that they’re responsible for, so each of those entities are trying to make decisions about allocation of their resources for their covered life population. And so, what we end up with, there’s lots of different methods, lots of different philosophies about how to way benefits and costs, and lack of consensus, and I think that’s probably the biggest comment I would make is here in the US, we don’t have one way of doing this, we don’t have agreement on the best way to assess existing technologies, we don’t have an agreement about the best way to assess emerging technologies, whether that’s a drug or a device or other kind of intervention.
And so that means there’s a lot of discussion and a lot of debates and a lot of research that’s coming out that may be confusing to particularly to patient populations, So, they look at all of this data and economic analysis and they’re left wondering, what does this mean for my treatments, what does this mean for my decision with my doctor? And I think that’s one of the advantages of the patient engagement network is to be able to… Patient Empowerment Network, to be able to educate patient communities about What is this process and does it represent the things that are important to me in my community on my journey with whatever cancer diagnosis that they’re dealing with.