Probably one of the biggest transformations in U.S. healthcare is the growing emphasis on value. The Affordable Care Act has placed an increased emphasis on healthcare quality and patient satisfaction, especially with regard to Medicare reimbursement. Private payers are also seeking payment structures based on patient outcomes. In the face of such economic pressures, deciding which technologies to incorporate into patient care can be a challenge, and will continue to be challenging in the future, as new health technologies and brands enter the market. To meet clinical as well as financial goals, providers need to make sure that the health technologies they adopt are safe and have proven benefit, that is, they have value.
We concur that the value attached to a particular health technology has been the missing piece to the puzzle, but it’s the “proven benefit” element that can be difficult to discern, especially when the evidence to support the utilization of a certain health technology is insufficient. When there is a lack of good information supporting benefit, hospitals and healthcare systems need to:
- Decide whether to make the decision about the health technology now or wait until later after more evidence develops.
- Identify the worst-case scenario if expectations about safety and efficacy are wrong.
- Determine how best to minimize the risks.
- Consider the operational and financial consequences of adopting a technology, service, product, or intervention that lacks evidence of improvement in clinical outcomes.
We have been advocates for evidence-based healthcare for decades. Over the past year, we’ve published a series of complimentary white papers that discuss an evidence-based value analysis approach that has helped our clients make decisions about adopting and utilizing health technologies. Download them now.