For Immediate Release: 01/25/2012
Contact: Doug Porter, Director, Health Care Authority, 360-725-1040; Richard Onizuka, HCA Assistant Director/Health Care Policy 360-923-2820; Josh Morse, Director, Health Technology Assessment Program, HCA, 360-923-2748
OLYMPIA – The Health Care Authority today (January 25) released a Stakeholder Engagement Report on its Health Technology Assessment program, which reviews medical evidence to ensure state health care dollars are spent on treatments that are safe and proven to work.
The report was compiled by the Center for Evidence-based Policy at Oregon Health & Science University, which surveyed stakeholder perceptions of the program and its mandate as well as comparisons of the Washington program with other state, national and international assessment initiatives.
"The report finds Washington State comparable with other assessment programs in many ways, including structure and processes," Program Director Josh Morse said. "It also found that stakeholders are satisfied that the program is meeting its legislative mandate, and that its purpose is understood."
The Health Technology Assessment program operates primarily with an independent committee of clinicians who make coverage decisions for health care purchased by state agencies. Decisions of the committee are based on reviews of medical evidence and health care research on treatments, medical devices and procedures.
The program was created as part of Governor Gregoire's plan to improve health care in Washington State. A key part of that plan was to use evidence-based scientific research to find and endorse treatments that work, and after five years, the program is saving the state an estimated $31 million a year.
Morse said he and others in the Health Care Authority would review the report's other recommendations in coming weeks. "There are clearly areas where the process can be improved, especially in how and what we communicate," he said.
Individuals surveyed for the report included those signed up with the program’s mailing list. Program stakeholders are individuals or groups with an interest in the program, the evidence used to support its decisions and the impact of those decisions. They include patients, caregivers, providers, advocates, professional societies, policymakers and industry representatives.
The report includes two parts, which are posted separately on the Health Technology Assessment website at www.hta.hca.wa.gov/stakeholder.html
Part I of the report focuses on common components of national and international assessment programs. Part II centers on stakeholder perceptions of the Health Technology Assessment program and recommendations aimed at better communications and access to assessment information.
Report readers who would like to provide feedback on issues raised in the report may write or email the program at P.O. Box 42712, Olympia, WA 98504-2712 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Health Care Authority does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.
FOR ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND, CONTACT:
Jim Stevenson, Communications, 360-725-1915 email@example.com (Pager: 360-971-4067)
Sharon Michael, Communications, 360-923-2764 firstname.lastname@example.org
Health Technology Assessment home page: www.hta.hca.wa.gov