Patient Reported Outcomes as a Means to Reaching Effective Quality Measurement

Patient Reported Outcomes as a Means to Reaching Effective Quality Measurement

06.17.14 | By Randy Burkholder

A recent Roundtable in Washington D.C. underscored why, with the growing focus on value-based payment in health care, it’s more important than ever to focus on the patient. We can’t advance patient-centered care if we aren’t measuring and incentivizing what matters to patients. We have begun to see this shift in the premarket arena via patient-focused drug development and in comparative effectiveness research at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. It’s time for the same shift to occur in provider value-based payment.

The patient’s preferences and feedback are a critical aspect in achieving value. One way to obtain patient involvement and feedback is through patient-reported outcome (PRO) tools, which are starting to be used alongside clinical quality measures. These tools can provide insights into the patient’s perspective about the impact of his illness on his quality of life and functional status improvements as a result of treatment response. Incorporation of PRO tools and performance measures in emerging payment and delivery models will enhance communication between healthcare professionals and patients throughout all aspects of care.

For us at PhRMA, patients are at the center of our work as we support biopharmaceutical research and development of new treatments in the effort to create cures. Nothing is more patient-centered than bringing an effective treatment to someone with an unmet medical need. Our members, research-based biopharmaceutical companies, work to demonstrate the value of new treatments beginning in the early stages of clinical development through the post-market phase using PROs.  We see the importance of continuing to receive this kind of patient feedback about treatment response and quality of life improvements within the context of the healthcare system. In an effort to elevate the need for PRO measures to be included in quality reporting programs, PhRMA is participating in a Dialogue Series where policymakers and thought leaders will work to find concrete solutions about increased, improved use of PRO measures. 

PhRMA is excited to partner with Avalere Health, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy, the Pacific Business Group on Health, Families USA and the National Quality Forum to convene a  Dialogue series titled, “Advancing PRO Measures in New Payment and Delivery Models.” We completed the first in a two-part dialogue series that is geared toward identifying tangible solutions to advance the appropriate use of PRO measures in existing and future payment and delivery models. At our first meeting, thought leaders from across the healthcare spectrum convened to discuss and prioritize the use of PRO measures.  

The second meeting, planned for later this summer, will identify policy levers that will advance PRO measures in models of care. We fully expect this to be available to the public and will hopefully shape the development and implementation of quality measures based on PRO tools into practice. For more information regarding the Dialogue and PhRMA’s participation in this exciting conversation, please contact Randy Burkholder,


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