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This document explores how increased use of comparative effectiveness research would affect health system performance along nine dimensions. Patient experience would improve if comparative effectiveness research were incorporated into shared decisionmaking. There is no clear evidence about how such research would affect spending, consumer financial risk, waste, or reliability of care. Theory suggests that comparative effectiveness research could improve health if it drives payers, providers, and patients toward more beneficial treatment options. Such research is not relevant to coverage. Establishing a national center for comparative effectiveness research would be easy; translating research into better clinical decisionmaking and increased health system efficiency would be complex.
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