How Will Comparative Effectiveness Research Affect the Quality of Health Care?

Article excerpt

Reflecting the view currently popular among analysts that the U.S. health system could benefit from the generation and use of more information on the comparative effectiveness of alternatives for treating and preventing health conditions, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 took steps toward creating a bigger role for research on CE in the U.S. health system. According to the authors, congressional health reform proposals would go further to develop an infrastructure for the ongoing prioritization, generation, coordination and dissemination of information on comparative effectiveness. As to how the information is to be used and by whom, with what sorts of institutional supports, the authors say very little has been agreed upon, and many of the most promising options for influencing health care practice are subject to strong objections from stakeholders.

Debates about raising the profile of CE have generated a lot of controversy and left open a number of decisions that will determine its impact on health care delivery, quality of care and outcomes. …