New! White Paper: A Dialogue on Value Assessment that Meets the Needs of Patients and Employers

By Elisabeth Oehrlein, PhD, MS, Assistant Vice President, Research & Programs, National Health Council; Margaret Rehayem, MA, Vice President, National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions; and Jennifer Bright, MPA, Executive Director, Innovation and Value Initiative 

Value assessment (VA) is a process that brings together stakeholders to evaluate the clinical, economic, social, organizational, and ethical issues for a specific health intervention or health technology (such as a drug). A value framework is a blueprint describing the methodology used by a specific organization to conduct a value assessment. In response to rising health care costs and a desire to allocate limited resources to areas with the highest value, we have seen a proliferation of value frameworks.  

While most stakeholders welcome a dialogue on value, a common criticism of existing value frameworks is that some stakeholders’ priorities – and the related data inputs to capture those priorities – have not been adequately incorporated.   

Two perspectives often underrepresented in VA are those of patients and employers. Recommendations on conducting VA published independently by the National Health Council (NHC), a coalition representing patients with chronic diseases and disabilities, and the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions (National Alliance), which represents purchasers including employers, indicates alignment between the two stakeholder groups. Because addressing the information needs of different stakeholders presents a significant challenge to VA bodies, identifying alignment when it exists is useful.  

Thus, the NHC, in partnership with the National Alliance, assembled stakeholders from patient, employer, and VA organizations and facilitated two Roundtable dialogues to: 

  • Explore alignment between patient and employer evidence needs related to value,  
  • Identify the questions patients and employers want researchers to consider as part of VA for a specific health care treatment or service (e.g., drug, device, surgery), and 
  • Discuss opportunities for VA approaches to better reflect both patient and employer end-user views, inputs, and needs. 

The Roundtables provided a remarkable forum for patient group, employer, and value-assessor representatives to engage in meaningful discussion on what is important to them regarding value assessment, including alignment in perspectives and needs, and strategies to improve current approaches. Those participating commented on how rare it was for them to interact; they appreciated the opportunity to do so and valued the engagement.  

Participants highlighted discordance between evidence generated and evidence needed as one of the primary barriers. Inviting participants from these stakeholder groups into the value-assessment discourse is key to ensuring that approaches are relevant for decision-maker needs. You can read more about findings of these roundtables here 

This project was supported by the Innovation and Value Initiative (IVI). The mission of IVI is to advance the science, practice, and use of value assessment in health care to make it more meaningful to those who receive, provide, and pay for care. Principles of the IVI value assessment approach include patient-centricity, transparency, and open-source modeling.