Jennifer Bright, CEO of Innovation and Value Initiative breaks down what value assessment and/or health technology assessment Is and how they are both used.
What is value assessment/health technology assessment and how is it done?
Mary, thanks for asking that question. You know, value assessment is a term that’s primarily used in the US and internationally, a wider term is health technology assessment, but they refer to the same thing, which is really an evaluation of health technologies that could be drugs, devices, medical interventions, and looking at the benefits of those interventions versus the costs. So that’s really the simplest definition. But that’s probably the most simple aspect of this field, it really has to do with economic analysis and thinking about how we compare the benefits to a person’s health outcomes and their quality of life versus the cost of what those interventions might cost to an individual’s care to a health plan and to society. As far as how it’s done, as I said, it’s a pretty complex area of research primarily done by health economists, and involves a lot of data, a lot of complex formulas and estimations and modeling to derive what people conclude as some kind of formula that helps us understand complex data and helps us understand those benefits versus costs. The biggest challenge with the field of value assessment and health technology assessment is that we don’t always have the best data to plug into these formulas. And so when we think about data in the realm of oncology care, for example, people’s experience in their care journey might differ their demographics and their genetics might differ and how their disease expresses itself, that the interventions are different and the costs are very different, and so when we use a simplified method like health economic research to try to come up with answers, what we have to realize is that we’re trying to simplify a lot of complexity and that makes it a very challenging environment, and one in which there’s a lot of disagreement about what’s the best method to do this work.