Building Health Reform's Research Arm

PCORI is not quite a household name, but if Dr. Anne Beal has her way, it will be soon. The acronym stands for Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute—a group of doctors, researchers, statisticians and patient advocates who will commission evidence-based research for the health care system. The goal, according to Beal, is to provide easy-to-understand information to patients so they can make the most informed health care decisions.

The quasi-governmental institute is partially funded through a $1-per-enrollee fee on certain insurers; the fee increases to $2 per person in 2013. It is enforced by the I.R.S. The new organization and its financing drew an attack this week from the Senate Republican Policy Committee. According to the committee's blog, this fee "represents a complete turnaround from an Administration that campaigned against taxing health benefits."

But Beal defends the levy, saying it would "help people decide what's best for them in getting their desired health outcome." She said more progressive insurers see this fee as an investment into PCORI's mission.

Read the full story and Q&A at: http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2012/January/09/PCORI-Q-and-A.aspx

Source: Kaiser Health News