• ICER Appraisal Used To Inform CTC Coverage Decision by Washington State Health Authority

In January, 2008 the ICER appraisal of CT colonography (“virtual colonoscopy”) was presented to the Washington state health care authority and used as the basis of its coverage decision for the state Medicaid program, VA, state employees, and department of corrections. The Washington state HCA voted that its judgment concurred with the ICER rating of comparative clinical effectiveness: CT colonography was “comparable” to optical colonoscopy; coverage was denied, however, on the basis of poor comparative value.  This judgment was guided by results of Washington state reimbursement figures entered into the ICER economic model.  The ICER appraisal is available online at our website.  For further information about the Washington state HCA and its coverage decision on CTC, visit http://www.hta.hca.wa.gov/vc.html

  • Future Appraisal Topics Selected

Current ICER appraisals underway include proton beam therapy and brachytherapy vs. IMRT for localized prostate cancer.  The ICER reports should be completed by October, 2008.  Two new appraisals — CT angiography and genetic testing to guide initial dosing of warfarin — were approved following consultation from the Topic Selection Committee and will be launched over the next several months.  Scoping committees will be assembled for these topics shortly.

  • Financial Support Grows

Support for ICER now comes from increasingly diverse sources: Blue Shield of California Foundation, AHIP, Kaiser Health Plans, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, HealthPartners, Washington state Health Care Authority, National Pharmaceutical Council, Johnson and Johnson, the John W. Rowe Family Foundation, and AHRQ via its CERT program at Harvard Medical School.

  • Physician Societies Join Advisory Board

The ICER Advisory Board now includes representatives of the American College of Cardiology, American College of Surgeons, and the American College of Radiology.

  • ICER Featured in Presentations and Reports

ICER has been highlighted within presentations at venues including the National Business Coalition on Health Leadership Council, the Massachusetts Coalition on Cost Management, and the Johnson and Johnson Global Evidence Leaders meeting.  ICER has also been featured in key reports on comparative effectiveness policy and legislation, including reports by MedPAC, and the Health Industry Forum.

  • Inaugural Advisory Board to Meet in 2008

The Founding Members of the ICER Advisory Board will meet in Boston in late July or early Fall 2008.  Discussion will focus on strategic collaborations, the framing of ICER reports for various audiences, conflict of interest guidelines, the topic selection process, and methods development activities.
Steven D. Pearson, MD, MSc, FRCP
Institute for Clinical and Economic Review
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA