Insurer Group Seeks New Agency To Gauge Medical Treatments
America's Health Insurance Plans on Thursday asked Congress to establish a new agency that would compare the cost and effectiveness of medical treatments as part of a series of recommendations to reduce health care costs, CongressDaily reports (CongressDaily, 4/20).
The agency would compare the cost and effectiveness of new and currently available medications, medical devices and therapies both before and after FDA approval. According to AHIP, the federal government and the private sector should operate the agency jointly to ensure political neutrality and independence.
The agency would require federal funds but also could receive additional support from the private sector, AHIP said. AHIP members would help publicize the results of comparisons and the recommendations of the agency.
In addition to the agency, AHIP recommended that Congress provide FDA with more authority to monitor the long-term effects of new medications, medical devices and therapies.
AHIP recommended that HHS establish a research agenda to address gaps in information about the effectiveness of medical practices.
AHIP also recommended the establishment of state medical dispute resolution boards to evaluate the validity of medical malpractice claims and eliminate frivolous claims. The boards would have jurisdiction over medical treatment disputes and liability claims against health insurers for provider negligence.
AHIP President and CEO Karen Ignagni said that the new agency would "enhance the value of the nation's investment in health care and ensure that patients receive the right care at the right time in the right setting" (Fils, CQ HealthBeat, 4/19). She added, "If we're moving to a system where you customize care ... you need a research base and to have the ability to judge a drug, device or therapy" (CongressDaily, 4/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.