U.S. health care reform should consider cost-effectiveness, says national panel co-chair

January 19, 2017 – Cost-effectiveness analyses can help policymakers make more informed decisions, says the DCRI’s Gillian Sanders-Schmidler.

As both houses of Congress consider repeal of the Affordable Care Act and enacting alternative health care reform in its stead, a New England Journal of Medicine Perspective by the co-chairs of the 2nd Panel for Cost Effectiveness in Health and Medicine argue that applying cost-effectiveness analyses to reveal the trade-offs between available treatments can help stakeholders, including patients, caregivers, providers, and payers, make decisions that help Americans obtain the most health possible for the available resources. The panel’s new guidelines, published this fall, evaluate costs and impacts beyond the health care sector and provides tools to incorporate patient perspectives on value.

“As lawmakers consider repeal of the Affordable Care Act, replacements should consider formal cost-effectiveness analysis that considers impacts of interventions that are most important to patients and other stakeholders as well as consequences to caregivers, social services and others outside the health care sector,” said Gillian Sanders-Schmidler, PhD.

Sanders-Schmidler is a member of the Outcomes Research and Assessment Group within the DCRI and of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. She is an Associate Professor in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center. Her research focuses on developing evidence-based decision models to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of alternative prevention, treatment, and management strategies for chronic diseases – and the translation of such models into formats/tools that patients, healthcare providers, and policymakers can use in their decision-making process. She is co-chair of the 2nd Panel for Cost Effectiveness in Health and Medicine.