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 CE Quarterly Update - October - December 2010

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
As  one  of 12 agencies in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the AHRQ’s mission is to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the Agency’s Effective Health Care Program received an additional $300 million in funding for CE research.  Currently there are a number of guides and reports being generated pertaining to many aspects of CE research. Comments regarding these reports are often requested, and as vascular surgery related reports are generated, the SVS CE Committee will invite the membership to comment. 

More information describing the AHRQ Effective Health Care Program is available.

National Institute of Health
Conference on CE and Personalized Medicine, October 19, 2010
Conference presenters explore the role of personalized medicine (PM) and CE research.  Presently, pharmacogenomics is the most advanced area of PM and this type of information can increase the precision of therapeutic probabilities and may be more cost effective as the cost of whole genome sequencing decreases. NIH Director, Frances Collins, stressed that PM is not exclusive to genomics, but includes any specific individual laboratory or clinical data. Examples of PM and CE research could include retrospective re-analysis of genomic information from the Diabetic Prevention Program and CAPRIE Study, among others.

Venture capitalists expressed some consternation regarding the CE landscape and its possible effects on innovation. VC dollars are not as readily available as previously, and there is uncertainty regarding the CE threshold that new therapies must meet, as opposed to other jurisdictions (i.e. cost per QALY with NICE in the U.K.).

Health Systems Collaborate to Study Outcomes, Quality and Costs
With a combined patient population of 10 million, six health systems (Cleveland Clinic, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Denver Health, Geisinger Health System, Intermountain HealthCare, Mayo Clinic) have announced a collaboration to share information on outcomes, quality and costs. Initially they will focus on eight conditions that have experienced rising costs and for which there is variability in costs and outcomes nationwide. These include knee replacement surgery, diabetes, heart failure, asthma, weight loss surgery, labor and delivery, spine surgery and depression. From this initial assessment the organizations plan to develop processes to study other conditions and determine best practices. 

Further information is available.
Additional CE Information
Health Affairs, a Journal dedicated to health care delivery and policy, dedicated the October 2010 issue to CE. Topics include the political debate over health care reform, the current national CE strategy, costs and value, CE methodology, the patients’ and other stakeholders’ perspectives, and translating CE results to practical health care delivery. 

Learn more. 

Posted January 2011 

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