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The Studies of August

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:

    • 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.

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.

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