Dr Steve Pearson Outlines the Importance of Thresholds on Determining Value

Thresholds can be useful to focus the conversation around the value of treatments in healthcare even if stakeholders have different views on what thresholds should be, explained Steve Pearson, MD, MSc, president of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review.

Thresholds can be useful to focus the conversation around the value of treatments in healthcare even if stakeholders have different views on what thresholds should be, explained Steve Pearson, MD, MSc, president of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review.

Transcript

What is the importance of utilizing thresholds to judge affordability and value?

Thresholds mean different things to different people. I think the value of a threshold in itself is that it helps focus the conversation. And it does help to, in a sense, put a stake in the sand, to say, 'This is one way of thinking about how much more we should be willing to pay for an added clinical benefit to patients.' You can always let decision makers judge that or themselves.

And in a very pluralistic health system like the US, you might assume that some payers or some health systems, even some consumers or patients, have different thresholds for what they are willing to pay or how they would like to allocate their resources. But having one theshold, in a sense, helps treat, different conditions fairly or similarly across those different conditions. Because intuitively, there's no reason why we should automatically assumed we should pay more for a patient in heart disease than a patient with a neurologic disorder, or vice versa.

So thresholds kind of throw that conversation fairly across all treatment areas. And also if you're looking at drugs or devices or different kinds of changes to the healthcare system, it puts those on the same playing field, as well. So it's not by itself a definitive answer that you just kind of write down and people walk away. But it's a way to stimulate and focus the kinds of conversation about value that we want to have with all stakeholders at the table.