Step 3: Evidence Report
A critical part of the program is the report about the health technology, produced by an impartial researcher. Researchers gather information about the health technology from all sources, using standard methods, and then rate all of the evidence and respond to the key questions based on the strength, quality, and relevance of the evidence. The report does not make recommendations about reimbursement or use of the technology.
An evidence report involves systematically searching for evidence (usually clinical trials), generating a summary of the studies' characteristics, methodological quality, and results. Once all of the included studies have been assessed for quality, data from one or several studies can be combined and/or analyzed to address the key questions. Reports include considerations of a medical procedure or test's safety, health outcome information, and cost, including cost data submitted by state agencies that are affected by the committee decision. For re-review, an updated evidence report will address evidence made available after the first review.
HTA contracts with Technology Assessment Centers (TAC, impartial researchers) to conduct the review. HTA forwards public comments about evidence that individuals believe should be considered in the review, as well as data and information received from state agencies. When the TAC completes a draft evidence report, it is published to the HTA website and stakeholders are notified of the availability of a draft for comment. The TAC also requests peer review from clinical and methods experts. Comments about the report are collected by HTA, reviewed and responded to by the TAC, and a final evidence report is completed and posted.
Draft technology assessment reports are posted online to gather input. HTA seeks input on whether the appropriateness and completeness of the technology assessment, especially regarding the scientific evidence about the key questions. At this stage, input about issues related to the review of the scientific evidence is most helpful, including:
- Identification of evidence not reviewed but available from peer-reviewed publications;
- Issues with interpretations of the evidence cited in the technology review;
- Criticality of outcomes;
- Study design issues that limit the applicability or availability of evidence;
- Possibility of developing better evidence, including any pending studies;
- Size of the possible health effect from the technology relative to the existing standard of care; and
- Context information related to the balance of potential or actual benefits, harms, and costs
Completed evidence reports (select from the list of technologies)