ACC/AHA Statement on Cost/Value Methodology in Clinical Practice Guidelines and Performance Measures

AHA – Circulation: March 27, 2014

A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Performance Measures and Task Force on Practice Guidelines

Traditionally, resource utilization and value considerations have been explicitly excluded from practice guidelines and performance measures formulations, although they often are implicitly considered. This document challenges this historical policy. With accelerating healthcare costs and the desire to achieve the best value (health benefit for every dollar spent), there is growing recognition of the need for more explicit and transparent assessment of the value of health care. Thus, from a societal policy perspective, a critical healthcare goal should be to achieve the best possible health outcomes with finite healthcare resources.

Consideration of cost/resource utilization as an outcome presents special challenges. Frequently, the scientific evidence base is inadequate to accurately assess cost-benefit. Also, costs may vary widely by practice setting, locality, and nationality, and over time. Moreover, individuals bear the burden of adverse health outcomes, yet costs typically are shared by society (eg, by families, employers, government, premium payers, fellow employees, taxpayers). Finally, attitudes differ among stakeholders about the extent to which cost should influence treatment decisions for individual patients and who should bear these costs. Consequently, resource utilization debates often become highly politicized, and significant conflicts of interest among individuals impaneled to formulate resource-based guidelines may be difficult to avoid. Read more