Dr Eleanor Perfetto Explains Concerns With Using QALY as Basis for Coverage Decisions

Given the limitations of the quality-adjusted life year (QALY) measure, Eleanor M. Perfetto, PhD, MS, senior vice president of Strategic Initiatives for the National Health Council, outlines concerns with using the measure as the basis for coverage decisions.

Given the limitations of the quality-adjusted life year, what concerns are there with using the measure for the basis of coverage decisions?
It’s really important that people understand that the QALY [quality-adjusted life year] or a QALY measure that might come out of an assessment of some kind, a health technology assessment or a value assessment, that it’s just one piece of information that a decision maker might take into account, and that it shouldn’t be the only thing they base their decision on. That’s a real concern to the patient community, that it not be the sole basis for decision making, especially with all the limitations that we know the QALY has.
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