Benefit brokers have a growing opportunity to help clients incorporate comparative effectiveness research into value-based health plan design, a just-released survey suggests. They will, however, have to gain ground on other resources employers are turning to in their search for the most trusted adviser.

Employers have, for some time, expressed desires to reward use of the most effective treatments for containing costs and restoring workers’ health. But a survey commissioned by the National Pharmaceutical Council offers new insight on employers’ desire to bring CER to bear on plan design.

To help make those decisions, plan sponsors rate the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute as their most trusted source of information. PCORI, cited as the top resource by 76% of survey respondents, is the private, nonprofit corporation created by the health reform law to develop and fund CER. Health plan partners rank second on the list of most trusted resources, at 56%, followed by benefit consultants, 48%, and health care coalition meetings/presentations, 39%.

Employers also expressed their desire to make effectiveness research more relevant to their goals. For example, 70% opine that workplace-relevant data such as disability, return to work, impact of treatment is “important” or “very important” to incorporate into CER. Of those respondents, 93% say they would encourage their benefit design partners to help build workplace measures into CER, and 85% say they would encourage employer health organizations to do so.


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