At the very time we’re tempted to sneak a snooze in the hammock a last time or two, we’ve been jarred from our late-August stupor by a traffic jam of reports emanating from a variety of government bodies. Oblivious to the rites of season, studies like these cycle through the landscape on their own unrelenting schedules, providing essential lubrication for the thrust and parry of health policy.
From the bounty of the last few days, here’s three reports of particular note:
- An AHRQ analysis crosshatches anticancer biologic products with the specific Medicare-beneficiary diagnoses to which they’re applied. Interpreting Part B and Part D claims data, the analysis teases out individual products’ usage patterns — on-label and off. In a separate report, AHRQ looks at overall costs and utilization.
- One key riddle at the heart of the health reform law is the essential benefits package. The law gives special responsibilities in this area to IOM, which, as part of its charge, has now published a workshop report on essential benefits. If you read nothing else: Check out Chapter 5, where Alan Garber takes on medical necessity and use of evidence.
- And speaking of evidence, CMS has just released a contractor’s report that inventories evidence-based guidelines for many CMS-identified hospital-acquired conditions. Confronted in its totality, the document is a formidable read. So you may want to treat it as a reference, suitable for zooming in on the conditions that particularly interest you.
Finally, as if to remind us that the rhythms of research are indeed unceasing, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute has requested proposals from vendors willing to provide recommendations on a topic that seems pivotal to the Institute’s mission: a working definition of “patient-centered outcomes research.”
We’ll look forward, in a future post, to reporting how this PCORI project turns out. But for now, the hammock beckons.