Morning Consult Op-Ed: Evolving Methods to Enhance Patient-Centered Value Assessment

Below is an excerpt from an op-ed published by Morning Consult by Eleanor M. Perfetto, Ph.D., MS, Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, and Elisabeth M. Oehrlein, Ph.D., MS, Senior Director of Research and Programs, at the National Health Council.

As the march to transition from volume to value increases in health care — particularly toward  a system where treatments are priced according to their relative benefit to patients — payers are increasingly turning to research findings and evidence synthesis that include an economic evaluation, such as a cost-effectiveness analysis, of a therapy’s cost and benefits.

Patient advocates agree that assessing value is important to optimizing care; however, conventional economic evaluations often approach value assessment in ways that may not be representative of how patients experience an illness.

The impact of the illness and treatment on the outcomes that matter most to patients — such as the ability to work or stay active or the burden on family members who act as caregivers — are vital but can be missed. Costs that directly impact patients are often left out.

Thankfully, researchers are currently working to develop approaches to value assessment to ensure the patient voice is meaningfully incorporated. How is this being done? By listening directly to patients.

In 2016, the National Health Council developed a Value Model Rubric with input from patient groups, caregivers, family members, providers and other experts to guide the development of patient-centered value assessments. Stakeholders came away with a set of principles describing what meaningful engagement with patients looks like, so that value elements that truly matter to patients can be a part of a treatment’s value assessment. Four years later, the NHC has updated that rubric, again using stakeholder input to ensure the principles keep pace with the evolving science and methods of patient-centered value assessment.