Voices in Health Care Value - September 2019

Welcome to the fifth issue of Voices in Health Care Value, the newsletter of the Research Consortium for Health Care Value Assessment (RC-HCVA). This issue features work from our colleagues at the Innovation and Value Initiative. We appreciate your comments and inputs to subsequent issues. If you are interested in becoming a Colleague in Value (individuals and groups who work in this area or who are simply interested in its findings) please register here.


Upcoming Conference on the Next Generation of Value Assessment

By George Miller-Altarum

The Research Consortium for Health Care Value Assessment (RC-HCVA) is one of four national Centers of Excellence in Value Assessment established by the PhRMA Foundation as part of its overall Value Assessment Initiative. The centers promote research, innovation, and the development of tools and partnerships that advance value-driven decision making and patient-centered care models.

On November 12, 2019, the directors of all four Centers of Excellence will have an opportunity to discuss our research and receive feedback from other researchers and stakeholders at a one-day conference in Washington, DC: The Next Generation of Value Assessment: Including the Patient Voice. The event is sponsored by the PhRMA Foundation and the National Health Council, and is free and open to the public. Its objective is “to illustrate the connection between value assessment research and the practical applications that support and strengthen the decision-making process in the U.S. health care system.”

A highlight of the conference will be a series of three panel discussions:

  • In panel #1, directors of the four Centers of Excellence will summarize and discuss their new approaches to value assessment.
  • Panel #2 will allow other value assessors to react to the presentations in panel #1 and to describe why new methods to value assessment are important and needed.
  • Panel #3 will include the reactions of several stakeholders, who will discuss how value assessment research translates into practical application in the health care system.

In addition to the RC-HCVA, the four Centers of Excellence include the University of Maryland’s Patient-Driven Values in Healthcare Evaluation (PAVE), the Center for Enhanced Value Assessment (CEVA) at the Tufts Medical Center, and The Center for Pharmaceutical Value (PValue) at the University of Colorado.

A detailed agenda for the conference can be found here. You can register for the event here. We look forward to seeing you on November 12.

RESEARCH CORNER – In Case You Missed It

A recent study by McGinn and colleagues in Trans Am Clin Climatol Assoc, examines the use of The Well’s clinical decision support tool when determining a patient’s probability of developing a pulmonary embolism (PE). Findings suggest that the tool could be used to identify patients that had a very low probability of developing a PE and no further testing was needed. Full article here.

A recent study by Ganguli and colleagues in JAMA Internal Medicine examines the prevalence and cost of down-stream care after low-value pre-operative electrocardiogram prior to cataract survey in the Medicare population. Findings estimate $35 million in the Medicare population is spent on down-stream care after a low-value pre-operative electrocardiogram. Full article here.

A recent study by Perez-Koehlmoos and colleagues in Health Affairs, examines the level of low value care delivered in the military health system compared to services offered at civilian health care facilities. Findings suggest there is evidence of low-value care in the military health system and variation in patterns of overuse between the two settings. Full article here

In a recent discussion piece from the Lown Institute, authors suggest that overuse of health care services has not become a central part of the health care debate, because the discussion of overuse focuses on costs and not patient harms. Full article here

In a recent article by Austin Frakt in The New York Times, he sheds light on how well we have moved from volume to value in Medicare health spending. Suggesting there are more singles than homeruns. Full article here

THE COMMUNITY – A Spotlight Feature on a Colleague in Value

Each issue will spotlight work by a Colleague in Value. This issue’s spotlight is on the Innovation and Value Initiative. 

The Innovation and Value Initiative: An Incubator for Value Assessment 2.0

Scientific, technological, and clinical advances are driving a revolution in patient care – but spending on healthcare also continues to increase, pressuring a universal conversation about affordability and access. Most observers agree that change is needed in order to better connect healthcare spending to value rather than volume but determining how to make this link quickly leads to debate and disagreement. What defines value? Value to whom? And how do we measure it?

Founded in 2016, the Innovation and Value Initiative (IVI)  was created to advance the science and improve the practice of value assessment in healthcare. In a current landscape marked by diversity, complexity, rapid innovation and high demand for affordability, IVI seeks to advance methods and models that improve the credibility and relevance of value assessment to real-world patient experience and localized decision-making. IVI brings together healthcare leaders from academia, patient organizations, payers, life sciences companies, providers, and delivery systems to advance approaches to value that fit the American context.

As part of its Open-Source Value Project (OSVP), IVI develops and shares flexible, open-source simulation models focused on specific diseases. These models serve both an intellectual and practical purpose by generating debate about appropriate methods, providing a laboratory to test new approaches, and engaging diverse voices in shaping how value should be measured. To date, IVI has released two separate disease-specific OSVP models, which simulate the benefits, costs, and risks of sequences of treatment in Rheumatoid Arthritis and EGFR+ Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (the IVI-RA and IVI-NSCLC models, respectively).

Essential to IVI’s mission is participation and shared learning across all stakeholders in the value conversation. We welcome patients, researchers, economists, innovators, payers and others working to define and strive for better value in healthcare to join us in our mission and our work. 

Learn more at IVI’s website or contact executive director Jennifer Bright at Jennifer.Bright@thevalueinitiative.org.


The Next Generation of Value Assessment: Including the Patient Voice. Tuesday, November 12, 2019 – Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington DC. Register here


The purpose of the 2018 RC-HCVA symposium was to bring together our Colleagues in Value to discuss relevant research areas, challenges to implementation, and gaps in what end-users need to inform policy change regarding value in health care. The 2018 Symposium Report can be found here


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