Advisory Panel Recommends New US Institute for Health Technology Assessment

April 2021

With continuing concerns about high and rising healthcare costs in the US, in the Spring of 2019, the USC Schaeffer Center collaborated with Aspen Institute to establish a 21-member stakeholder advisory panel to develop policy recommendations on the future of value assessment in the US. Anticipating a potential change of the political winds in 2021, and with continuing legislation under consideration regarding pharmaceutical prices, the goal was to assess whether and how the US should undertake a value assessment process of medical technologies that would support a more sustainable and innovative healthcare system. The effort engaged a diverse set of international experts with varying perspectives—academic, government, payers, patients, and industry—to produce a policy white paper by the end of 2020. The group held a series of meetings and teleconferences to hammer out some consensus recommendations for the establishment of a new federal Institute for Health Technology Assessment (IHTA).

IHTA would be a publicly funded HTA coordinating, advisory-only agency. A key aim would be to encourage and expand the many existing private and state HTA efforts. The remit of IHTA would consider a broad array of technologies and healthcare services—new and old—including drugs, devices, diagnostics, procedures, and public health interventions. The agency would conduct some studies, as well as review and approve HTA reports by other organizations. An effective stakeholder engagement was recommended as critical to its success. Important issues around independence, governance, and financing remain to be addressed.

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