Can Economic Model Transparency Improve Provider Interpretation of Cost-effectiveness Analysis? Evaluating Tradeoffs Presented by the Second Panel on Cost-effectiveness in Health and Medicine

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Abstract

The Second Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine convened on December 7, 2016 at the National Academy of Medicine to disseminate their recommendations for conduct, methodological practices, and reporting of cost-effectiveness analyses (CEAs). Following its summary, panel proceedings included lengthy discussions including the field’s struggle to disseminate findings efficiently through peer-reviewed literature to target audiences. With editors of several medical and outcomes research journals in attendance, there was consensus that findings of cost-effectiveness analyses do not effectively reach other researchers or health care providers. The audience members suggested several solutions including providing additional training to clinicians in cost-effectiveness research and requiring that cost-effectiveness models are made publicly available. However, there remains the questions of whether making economic modelers’ work open-access through journals is fair under the defense that these models remain one’s own intellectual property, or whether journals can properly manage the peer-review process specifically for cost-effectiveness analyses. In this article, we elaborate on these issues and provide some suggested solutions that may increase the dissemination and application of cost-effectiveness literature to reach its intended audiences and ultimately benefit the patient. Ultimately, it is our combined view as economic modelers and clinicians that cost-effectiveness results need to reach the clinician to improve the efficiency of medical practice, but that open-access models do not improve clinician access or interpretation of the economics of medicine.

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