Since our inception, ICER has sought to advance fair pricing and fair access for healthcare in the United States. Through these efforts we want to help create a more sustainable and equitable health system that can guarantee that every American has affordable access to high-value care.

To accomplish this goal, we at ICER know that we need to focus on the “patients in the room” — the individuals whose health and well-being will be most directly influenced by how new health care interventions are priced and brought into the health system. But just as importantly, we need to keep that focus while not losing sight of the patients not in the room – those individuals who will be harmed when health care spending keeps rising faster than incomes, when spending is divorced from the relative benefit provided to patients, and when the health system reacts to increased costs by restricting access and by pushing financial hardship onto those who are least able to absorb it.

In other words, the dysfunction of the US health care system leads to substantial health inequity, and ICER’s work in health technology assessment (HTA) is intended to help address this ongoing problem.  But the methods used in HTA – the methods for picking topics, for identifying and engaging with patients, for evaluating clinical evidence, and for integrating perspectives on equity into final recommendations – can these methods be improved to serve this goal?

That is the fundamental question driving our new effort to undertake an analysis of ICER’s methods, to consider the risks and benefits of different options, and to recommend where possible best practices to be followed, by ICER and by other HTA organizations. The ultimate goal of the project is to establish a comprehensive set of methods by which all producers and users of HTA can effectively meet the challenge of ensuring that HTA fully achieves its goals of improving health equity.

We are proud to be supported in this effort by new grant funding from The Commonwealth Fund. At the outset of this project, ICER as assembled a senior advisory group – consisting of patient advocates, payers, HTA and policy experts – to provide guidance and feedback. The advisory group includes:

  • Rebekah Angove, Executive Vice President, Research and Evaluation; Director, Patient Insight Institute, Patient Advocate Foundation
  • Linda Gorel Blount, President and CEO, Black Women’s Health Imperative
  • Stacey Kowal, Principal, Health Policy & Systems Research, Genentech
  • Isiah Lineberry, Executive Director, Harrisburg Family Health Care
  • Megan McIntyre, Vice President, Pharmacy and Clinical Consulting, Premera Blue Cross
  • Praveen Thokala, Senior Research Fellow, School of Health and Related Research, The University of Sheffield
  • Tiffany Westrich-Robertson, CEO, International Foundation for Autoimmune and Autoinflammatory Arthritis

Stay tuned for our White Paper and a series of public dissemination efforts in March 2023. For more information on this grant, click here.

ICER is committed to pursuing fair access to high-value care for all patients. Understanding that there will always be tradeoffs in the health system, policymakers must work to ensure that those tradeoffs be informed by evidence, encourage better and more affordable care, and reduce health disparities across all patient populations. We believe this work supported by the Commonwealth Fund brings us one step closer to building a more equitable health care system.