Comparative Effectiveness: Health Care Policy Perspectives for Consideration
Lessons from abroad demonstrate the complexity of implementation in the U.S.
A new Deloitte study that profiles comparative effectiveness systems in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Germany concludes that, if implemented correctly, comparative effectiveness has the potential to improve care and reduce health care costs for Americans. However, a cut-and-paste approach will not work in the U.S.
The study, “Comparative Effectiveness: Perspectives for Consideration” by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions:
- Reviews the current state of comparative effectiveness research in U.S. health care
- Profiles comparative effectiveness systems in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Germany
- Examines how comparative effectiveness studies in these four countries are applied to:
- A diagnostic screening technology (to detect colon cancer)
- Pharmaceutical medication (the use of statins for treatment of elevated cholesterol)
- A surgical procedure (treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia)
Generating better evidence about the costs and benefits of different treatment options – through research on the comparative effectiveness of those options – has the potential to bend the curve in health care spending and reduce inappropriate variation in the system. Report findings conclude that, in the U.S., a “tools, not rules” approach, with industry and policy makers working side by side, will result in a comparative effectiveness model that delivers better value and lower costs.
There is no doubt that the U.S. health care system suffers from widespread inappropriate variation and waste. Solving this problem, however, requires statesmanlike leadership. Comparative effectiveness, when implemented appropriately, is a major step in the right direction; one that holds the promise of improved care and reduced costs for Americans.
The report includes implications for a variety of stakeholders, including policy makers, providers, consumers, payors/health plans and life sciences companies.