Biomedical advances in genomics and oncology, combined with rising costs for targeted cancer therapies, challenge the way we currently deliver and pay for cancer care. To foster the economic sustainability of targeted therapies, the University of Pennsylvania convened the Gant Family Precision Cancer Medicine Consortium, a multidisciplinary work group of experts from health care economics, policy, law, regulation, biomedical research, patient advocacy, and the pharmaceutical and insurance industry.
In a recent Scattergood Foundation report, LDI Senior Fellow Dominic Sisti and I tackle the curious case of the “institutions for mental diseases” (IMD) exclusion in Medicaid. For non-elderly adults, the national IMD exclusion prevents Medicaid from paying for inpatient care in institutions with more than 16 beds that primarily provide care for persons with “mental diseases” other than dementia or intellectual disabilities.
Engaging patients, families, and independent experts in policymaking is a laudable goal, but the process of doing so isn’t necessarily straightforward. If efforts to introduce patient and public perspectives also introduce bias, they may do more harm than good. A recent study raises concerns about bias in public engagement, finding that public engagement efforts by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may attract speakers with significant conflicts of interest (COI), which are frequently undisclosed.
Practice transformation and payment reform are defining features of contemporary health policy debates. The story goes like this: new provider organizations, such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are transforming care delivery from fragmented and volume driven to integrated and optimized for quality; meanwhile, innovative payment models, such as bundled payments and risk-based contracting, herald a national transition from fee-for-service (FFS) to value-based payments.
Discussions of drug pricing often link high prices with the need to promote innovation in the pharmaceutical industry. New technology can drive improved health outcomes, social welfare, and economic growth, but assigning value to specific innovations is technically difficult.
Affordability may be the most ubiquitous buzzword in health reform. In repeated surveys, Americans cite the affordability of health care as their top financial concern. Despite their handwringing, politicians often avoid defining what constitutes “affordable” health care, and both non-experts and seasoned policymakers seem to lack robust measures of affordability. How can the most important crisis in health care lack reliable metrics?
“Value” is more than a buzzword. In response to rising costs, payers, physicians, and patients have turned to value assessment frameworks to inform treatment plans and design sustainable budgets. However, the usefulness and potential of these tools remain murky. LDI’s 50th anniversary symposium convened a panel to elucidate key questions for the future of value frameworks—what does value mean to different stakeholders in the health care system? How should payers, doctors, and patients appraise the value of the care they receive?