When a Health Technology Assessment Cost Us $100,000

Posted by Winifred S. Hayes, RN, PhD, ANP, Founder and CEO on December 6, 2016

Refusing money_1200.jpgYou can’t get away from the word “value” in today’s healthcare environment. It’s in practically every headline of every blog, whitepaper, and email blast. From value-analysis teams to value-based medicine and purchasing, the word has become so commonplace, it risks losing its own value. With the continued shift away from fee-for-service medicine and toward pay-for-performance, we’ll need to embrace value as not only part of our vocabulary, but as a guide for our business practices. Along those lines, I’d like to take the opportunity this week to tell you about our business values; about how they make us the obvious choice for your health technology assessments; and about how our adherence to those values cost us $100,000.

There’s Always a Catch

Approximately 15 years ago, we were approached by a large device manufacturer. Our reputation as an independent, third-party health technology assessment (HTA) reporting firm was continuing to grow. The manufacturer wanted us to analyze the latest research on one of their products, which, of course, we were happy to do. However, there was a catch. If our analysis of their study proved to be unfavorable in any way, they requested that we not publish our report. Knowing full well the weight that our proprietary Hayes Rating carried in the industry, they knew how damaging a poor report could be for their product. To ensure that wouldn’t happen, they offered us $100,000.

"There would be no extra work for us, no increase in overhead. The cost of doing busines would go down significantly. All we had to sacrifice was our integrity."

A Slippery Slope…

$100,000 is never considered a small amount of money. But 15 years ago? $100,000 solved a lot of problems for an expanding company; payroll, utilities, and money to invest in continued business development. They couldn’t have been the only manufacturer with such intentions. Certainly if one organization was willing to make such an offer, other like-minded companies would do the same. There would be no extra work for us, no increase in overhead. Quite the contrary, the cost of doing business would go down significantly. All we had to sacrifice was our integrity.

View a sampling of our reports here and fill out a form to request a full report.

...But Our Footing Is Sure

The Hayes brand is synonymous with fiercely unbiased evidence. Though we may not have referred to our commitment to independence in those exact words at that time, the concept was, is, and always will be the foundation of the Hayes commitment to improving healthcare. Standing on those firmly grounded principles made it easy for us to turn away that offer, despite the short-term benefits it might have afforded us. Others have tried in the time since then, but our values simply cannot and will not be bought at any price.

Why Is It So Important to Be Unbiased?

ethics.jpgConsider how often both physicians as well as supply-chain and value-analysis teams are visited by manufacturer sales representatives. More often than not, they’re armed with the latest “evidence” about the capabilities, safety, and efficacy of whatever health technology they’re selling. Now consider for how many patients a physician is responsible, with many asking for the latest treatments or drugs they saw on television or the internet. Imagine the number of purchase requests a value-analysis team must field and subsequently research. Time is a valuable commodity that restricts their ability to do the research about a given health technology without having to worry about the manufacturer bias for a product that may have poor cost-effectiveness and patient outcomes, both all-too-important metrics in today’s shifting healthcare marketplace.

Our Values Create Value

That’s why it has been critical for us to maintain our fiercely unbiased commitment. We strive to improve the delivery of healthcare through evidence that is without influence, and we seek to do it in a manner that’s efficient and cost-effective. For our value-analysis and supply-chain members, we offer integration with workflow solutions that allows instant access to our Knowledge Center in a matter of clicks. Reports like our Medical Technology Directory, the Health Technology Brief, and Genetic Test Evaluation reports all come with the industry-standard Hayes Rating that makes technology acquisition conversations and decisions easier with the full knowledge that our values give our Rating value.

As a current or future Hayes client, you can be assured that we will never compromise our mission to always provide you with health technology assessments, delivered with scientific rigor, free from outside influence or bias. View a sampling of our reports here and fill out a form to request a full report.

Topics: Payers, Hospitals, Hayes Blog, Health Technology Assessments,, medical devices

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