Highlights from Day 1 of the Annual Research Meeting (ARM) included a lively plenary on health policy after the election and multiple sessions on patient-reported outcomes, plus HSR’s 50th anniversary, and high-deductible health plans.

Plenary: Health Policy After the Election: What Can We Expect? What Will Be the Role of Evidence?

Chair: Joseph Thompson, University of Arkansas for Medical Services; Panelists: Adaeze Enekwechi, McDermott+Consulting; Reed Tuckson, Tuckson Health Connections, LLC; Joseph Antos, American Enterprise Institute

In a facilitated conversation, panelists discussed the current policy environment, each providing diverse perspectives from inside and outside state and federal policymaking. All emphasized the opportunity that an era of significant policy change provides for the seeking and use of evidence in decision-making, but also acknowledged the challenges related to pace of change and mechanisms for translation of relevant health services research.

A lively Q&A followed the panel presentation, with questions from the audience focused on issues such as how the private and academic sectors can work together, the need for research on quality and cost, and the importance for making the case for health services research.

The plenary highlighted AcademyHealth’s mission to move evidence into action through translation, dissemination and implementation. Learn more. 

Advancing the Use of Patient-Reported Outcomes through Health Information Technology

Chair: Arlene Bierman, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; Panelists: Danielle Lavallee, University of Washington; Patricia Franklin, University of Massachusetts Medical School; Rachel Hess, University of Utah School of Medicine; Chun-Ju (Janey) Hsiao, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

During this session, panelists explored the values of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and the challenges in using PROs in routine care. Presenters agreed that in order to improve both delivery systems and patient health, we need to be able to view data at different levels. Examples of PRO implementation were offered, including measurement selection and health IT-enabled approaches. Discussion moved to funding opportunities offered by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to encourage the use of health IT strategies for PRO implementation and use.

Several of the questions during this session addressed the mechanics and functionality of both capturing patient data and reporting the data in a way that it is both useful and actionable for patients and delivery systems.

This session aligns with AcademyHealth’s work to identify, validate, share, and analyze data to improve health. Learn More.

50 Years of the Journal HSR: Informing Policy and Practice

Chairs: Lisa Simpson, AcademyHealth; Jacqueline Zinn, Temple University; Panelists: Gordon DeFriese, University of North Carolina; Stephen Shortell, University of California – Berkeley; Hal Luft, Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute.

Panelists reviewed how the field of health services research (HSR) has evolved over the last 50 years, noting changes in who is doing the work as well as in the questions HSR is answering. Former HSR editors in chief addressed major developments with respect to research content and editorial policies occurring during their tenure.

Audience discussion focused on the past, present, and future implications for policy and practice.

The session highlighted AcademyHealth’s mission to move evidence into action through translation, dissemination, and implementation. Learn more.

What Do We Know about High-Deductible Health Plans and What Do We Need to Learn?

Chair: Ilene Hollin, National Pharmaceutical Council and University of Southern California; Panelists: Erin Holve, Government of the District of Columbia; Neeraj Sood, University of Southern California; Ateev Mehrotra, Harvard University.

The rise of high-deductible health plans (HDHP) increases the need for high quality research to understand their impact. Research findings are mixed in terms of HDHPs achieving their goals. This panel covered research that highlights current understanding, what remains unknown, and how future research can improve the knowledge base.

Discussion focused on findings showing that neither high deductibles alone or high deductibles and price transparency make a significant difference in consumer behavior.

The session highlighted AcademyHealth’s work to address cost growth, encourage efficiency and quality, and provide for care via insurance, Medicare and Medicaid so that people receive the best care at the best value. Learn more.

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