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Comparative Effectiveness Research: Do Employers Care? What Will They Do?

Comparative Effectiveness Research: Do Employers Care? What Will They Do?

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On behalf of the National Pharmaceutical Council, the Benfield Group conducted a survey in December 2010 to assess the attitudes of employers on comparative effectiveness research (CER).

Key Findings:

Employers know about CER
Employers care about CER and view it as a way to improve health benefit decision-making
Employers know how they will use CER findings
Employers will primarily look to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) as a trusted source of CER information
CER findings must include workplace-relevant information (when appropriate) to meet the needs of employers

Why employers matter to the CER conversation
•Employers provide health insurance coverage for 170 million people, or about two-thirds of the US population.
•Employers fund roughly one-third of all healthcare expenditures and about 40 percent of spending on prescription drugs in the US.
•Of large employers, a majority use approaches that are designed to promote longer-term health and productivity outcomes as cornerstones of their cost management strategy, rather than focusing narrowly on reducing short-term benefit costs through price-focused negotiation and cost-shifting tactics.
•CER will have an impact if findings are translated into practice. But the Institute of Medicine (IOM) states that it takes an average of 17 years for medical knowledge to be incorporated into clinical practice in the U.S.
•Employers are positioned to translate CER findings into real-world application through workplace health programs and benefit design.

About the Survey
In December 2010, the Benfield Group invited health and pharmacy benefit decision-makers and influencers to participate in a 15-minute online survey. To supplement the 75 completed surveys, Benfield completed 25 in-depth interviews with employers (21), employer health coalition leaders (2) and employee benefit consultants (2).

Among those surveyed were employee benefit directors, medical directors and other health management professionals with health management and pharmacy benefit decision-making authority or influence in large (5,000 or more employees), self-insured corporations.

Of the 75 companies surveyed, 47 percent had more than 20,000 employees, and all companies were at least 50 percent self-insured, with 88 percent of the companies at least 75 percent self-insured. Of respondents, 81 percent indicated they are decision-makers or influencers when it comes to employee health strategy, with the balance indicating they provide input.
On behalf of the National Pharmaceutical Council, the Benfield Group conducted a survey in December 2010 to assess the attitudes of employers on comparative effectiveness research (CER).

Key Findings:

Employers know about CER
Employers care about CER and view it as a way to improve health benefit decision-making
Employers know how they will use CER findings
Employers will primarily look to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) as a trusted source of CER information
CER findings must include workplace-relevant information (when appropriate) to meet the needs of employers

Why employers matter to the CER conversation
•Employers provide health insurance coverage for 170 million people, or about two-thirds of the US population.
•Employers fund roughly one-third of all healthcare expenditures and about 40 percent of spending on prescription drugs in the US.
•Of large employers, a majority use approaches that are designed to promote longer-term health and productivity outcomes as cornerstones of their cost management strategy, rather than focusing narrowly on reducing short-term benefit costs through price-focused negotiation and cost-shifting tactics.
•CER will have an impact if findings are translated into practice. But the Institute of Medicine (IOM) states that it takes an average of 17 years for medical knowledge to be incorporated into clinical practice in the U.S.
•Employers are positioned to translate CER findings into real-world application through workplace health programs and benefit design.

About the Survey
In December 2010, the Benfield Group invited health and pharmacy benefit decision-makers and influencers to participate in a 15-minute online survey. To supplement the 75 completed surveys, Benfield completed 25 in-depth interviews with employers (21), employer health coalition leaders (2) and employee benefit consultants (2).

Among those surveyed were employee benefit directors, medical directors and other health management professionals with health management and pharmacy benefit decision-making authority or influence in large (5,000 or more employees), self-insured corporations.

Of the 75 companies surveyed, 47 percent had more than 20,000 employees, and all companies were at least 50 percent self-insured, with 88 percent of the companies at least 75 percent self-insured. Of respondents, 81 percent indicated they are decision-makers or influencers when it comes to employee health strategy, with the balance indicating they provide input.

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Published by: National Pharmaceutical Council on Jun 23, 2011
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03/23/2012

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Comparative Effectiveness Research:
Do Employers Care? What Will They Do?
 
CHUCK REYNOLDS, MS,
 President, Employer Practice
DIANA MARTIN,
Senior Consultantboth of The Benfield Group
ROBERT W. DUBOIS, MD, PhD,
 Chief Science Officer
KIMBERLY WESTRICH, MA,
 Research Directorboth of the National Pharmaceutical Council
A White Paper Prepared For NPC By
 June 2011
 
 Written by:
CHUCK REYNOLDS, MS,
 President, Employer Practice
DIANA MARTIN,
Senior Consultantboth of The Benfield Group
ROBERT W. DUBOIS, MD, PhD,
 Chief Science Officer
KIMBERLY WESTRICH, MA,
 Research Directorboth of the National Pharmaceutical CouncilThe
 Benfield Group
 is a health care market research, strategy and communications firm dedicated to improving health care value through meaningful information, clear communication and innovative collaboration along the health care supply chain. The
National Pharmaceutical Council
 is a health policy research organization dedicated to the advancement of good evidence and science, and to fostering an environment in the United States that supports medical innovation. Founded in 1953 and supported by the nation’s major research-based pharmaceutical companies, NPC focuses on research development, information dissemination, and education on the critical issues of evidence, innovation and the value of medicines for patients.
Acknowledgments:
The authors would like to acknowledge Diana Enyedi, Jennifer Graff, Andrea Hofelich, Gary Persinger, and Sabrina Siddiqui for their thoughtful contributions to this report.
Funded and published by 
 the National Pharmaceutical Council, 2011. To order copies of this report, please visit www.npcnow.org. © Copyright 2011
 
ABSTRACT
Recent Federal legislation, including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), has launched a comprehensive national effort to conduct and disseminate comparative effectiveness research (CER). As purchasers of health care for employees, dependents and retirees, employers stand to benefit from potential quality and cost impacts of CER. Further, because they can influence patients, providers and provider organizations through health programs and benefit design, employers have the ability to contribute to the translation of CER findings into clinical practice, enabling quality and cost improvements. Our research indicates that a sizable segment of employers (specifically, large and self-insured employers who comprised our sample) are aware of CER and expect that CER findings will help them achieve health improvement and cost management goals. These employers have clear ideas about how they would use health programs and benefit strategies to help translate CER findings into practice. Our research further indicates that employers would value CER outcomes related to  workforce productivity, and believe it is important for CER research to consider the impact of alternative treatments on absence, disability and work performance when appropriate. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is by far employers’ most trusted source of CER information; and while some employers plan to directly monitor CER developments, most will rely on their health plans, consultants and Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) to keep them apprised of relevant matters and to help identify and implement effective program and policy actions.Employers are important health care stakeholders, and–particularly if findings address their interests in workforce productivity as well as employee health and health care costs–employers will be an ally in the effort to translate CER findings into better clinical practice, improved health, enhanced productivity and lower costs.
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