While employers are the main providers of health insurance in the United States for over 170 million individuals, studies have shown that they have not widely engaged in the use of PCORI-funded research to support their healthcare strategies and policies.
To help close this gap, the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions crafted an effective process to disseminate PCORI findings during its first PCORI Engagement Award beginning in April 2017 through its national member network to the employer community.
Moving forward, the aim of this project is to expand on this success in two directions, first, a new focus on an upstream interface with PCORI with the outcome being research projects that are more relevant to employer’s interests—called the Feedback Loop—and second, a deeper downstream investigation of the long-term impact on patient-centered experiences through the utilization of the research findings by employers.
The project activities will include the development of a checklist outlining key employer interests as the first step in the Feedback Loop collaboration model. The project team will work with PCORI to determine a streamlined process to keep information flowing between the two organizations to support the dissemination effort. As part of the second area of development, a collaborative evaluation initiative will be launched with key employer partners to assure that tracking of the long-term impact is possible. Finally, the development of publications, products, and tools similar to those utilized in the first award's dissemination strategy will continue to be primary activities in the direct distribution of research findings.
The overall intent of this Initiative is to educate and inform healthcare benefits professionals to shift their current practices and those of their vendors toward a stronger evidence-based approach in their healthcare decision making.
Tangible short- and medium-term outcomes will include, at a minimum, reports on effectiveness, reach, and uptake of the research dissemination; an archive of publications and media to be accessed, reviewed, and redistributed as needed by the alliance and PCORI; and a dedicated web portal that will inform the employer audience about relevant activities on the PCORI site. Projected long-term outcomes will include improvement in patient-centered experiences through in-depth tracking of employer utilization.
The alliance’s member coalitions engage their employer-members to collectively influence change in the healthcare system. It is through this network of private and public employers of different sizes and industries that the PCORI-funded research findings are distributed. Primary distribution of research findings will engage coalition members at peak times of their benefit planning process related to programs, benefit plan design, and employee engagement. The evaluation of the dissemination impact will also flow year-round to track utilization rates and impact on populations downstream.
The alliance will collaborate with its well-established partners who represent key diverse stakeholders in the healthcare industry and with employers to track the lasting impact of this dissemination initiative.
Project Website: Employer Insights from Patient Centered-outcomes Research Institute
Related Engagement Award: Dissemination Project (2017)
How Frequently Should Cancer Survivors be Screened for Disease Recurrence? Is More Always Better?
In August 2019, the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions hosted a webinar discussion about the frequency of testing and screening practices following surgery for colorectal cancer. The webinar featured George J. Chang, MD, MS, who discussed his PCORI-funded research study findings and its possible impact for employers and influence on medical guidelines, and compared current US practices in relation to other countries.