Building Data Capacity to Study Economic Outcomes for Patient Centered Outcomes Research

Generating evidence on the outcomes, effectiveness, and value of health care is important for informing the decisions facing patients, providers, and policymakers. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Trust Fund was established by Congress in 2010 and directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to “provide for the coordination of relevant Federal health programs to build data capacity” for research on patient health outcomes. Over the past decade, HHS agencies have collaborated to build a portfolio of projects that support PCOR. In 2019, the PCOR Trust Fund was reauthorized for ten years, and the scope of patient outcomes was expanded to include “potential burdens and economic impacts of the utilization of medical treatments, items, and services on different stakeholders and decision-makers respectively. These potential burdens and economic impacts include medical out-of-pocket costs, including health plan benefit and formulary design, non-medical costs to the patient and family, including caregiving, effects on future costs of care, workplace productivity and absenteeism, and healthcare utilization.” The law is permissive of studies of other economic impacts on patients, families, and caregivers.

With this expanded scope, there is a renewed opportunity and funding to build and strengthen data capacity for PCOR studies – improving the availability, quality, and accessibility of data on economic variables as well as the analytic resources needed to support the study of economic impacts. To advance this important aspect of PCOR data capacity, the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), with support from RAND, planned a scientific symposium and accompanying special issue in the journal Medical Care, focused on understanding and advancing the ways in which patient-centered economic data can be collected, linked, and analyzed for PCOR studies.

The call for abstracts is now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted an abstract.