Debut Guides Offer Patients and Physicians Easy-to-Understand Advice on ‘Best Value’ Options for Breast Cancer Screening and Prostate Cancer Treatments

January 21, 2016 – A new series of user-friendly guides detailing Proven Best ChoicesSM for certain health care treatments were unveiled today by Families USA and the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER). The two organizations expect to produce half a dozen such guides each year.

The first two Proven Best Choices guides focus on treatment options for men with low-risk prostate cancer and screening options for women with dense breast tissue. Each guide is based on in-depth reviews of evidence on effectiveness and value performed by ICER. ICER and Families USA then work together to create guides that will be accessible to patients and their families.

“Not all services are created equal,” said Dr. Steven Pearson, president of ICER and primary author of the guides. “Patients and providers need independent, evidenced-based information to make important health care decisions. These guides will help patients focus on what treatments to consider when multiple options exist, and what questions they should ask their doctors.”

Each guide looks at available treatments and highlights those considered to offer the best value. These recommendations for Proven Best Choices represent an independent, trustworthy source of information to help patients and their families evaluate their health care options so they can work with their clinicians to select the high-value options that best meet their needs.

An additional goal of this program is to spur the development of payment and quality measurement reforms to support high-value care, including value-based benefit designs and episode-based and other global payment mechanisms.

“Now that significant health coverage expansions have taken place, our focus must be on both improving health care value for consumers and ensuring the sustainability of the health care system,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA. “The Proven Best Choices publications are designed to help answer the critical question – ‘what is high-value health care?’ – and then to help consumers understand the relative value of the different options available to them.”

Proven Best Choices is a partnership between ICER and Families USA reflecting a common belief that assuring access to affordable, quality health care requires a transformation in the national conversation about value. This transformation relies on a deeper collaboration between consumers and experts in evidence-based medicine. Proven Best Choices represents a new framework through which patients, families, and clinicians can understand information on effectiveness and value and integrate that information into clinical decisions.

The Proven Best Choices program is jointly supported by Families USA and ICER, with seed funding from the Kaiser Permanente National Community Benefit Fund at the East Bay Community Foundation.

Later this year, guides examining Proven Best Choices for lower back pain, ADHD, and type 2 diabetes will be released. All guides will be updated as new information comes forward.

About ICER
The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) is an independent non-profit research institute that produces reports analyzing the evidence on the effectiveness and value of drugs and other medical services.

Families USA
Families USA is the national organization for health care consumers. It is nonprofit and nonpartisan, and its mission is to secure high-quality, affordable health coverage and care for all Americans.