Research Agenda

Co-directed by George Miller at Altarum and Mark Fendrick at VBID Health, the Research Consortium for Health Care Value Assessment will bring together researchers working in health value to collaborate, share findings and develop research ideas to aid decisionmakers seeking to address health care inefficiencies.

Ongoing research within the consortium is focused on measurement of the magnitude and cost of low-value care in the U.S., with some effort also devoted to the measurement of high-value care. A long-term objective of the consortium is development and use of methods for comprehensive measurement of the magnitude and cost of low-value care. Altarum’s research has led to a framework for a mixed-methods approach for comprehensive identification and measurement of use of health care services that add little or no clinical value. The framework describes methods for using administrative claims data to track low-value care for a population of interest. Consortium staff is now working toward implementing these methods for alternative populations to measure the frequency and expense of low-value care and identify the principal sources of low-value spending.

Near-term efforts represent incremental steps toward application of these methods via a set of quick-strike projects:

  • An ongoing project involves tracking under-utilization of five high-value services and inappropriate use of five low-value services over time as an indication of the extent to which spending is shifting from low-value to high-value care.
  • Another project will compare the relative ability of two alternative approaches employed by the framework to accurately measure low-value spending.
  • A third project addresses the impact of alternative algorithms for direct measurement of low-value services on their consistency in estimating the magnitude of low-value use of these services.

Consortium staff is currently identifying additional quick-strike projects that will further advance the science of health care value assessment.