Innovation Center's Methods Under The Microscope

The New York Times: Method of Study Is Criticized In Group’s Health Policy Tests
The idea seemed transformative. The Affordable Care Act would fund a new research outfit evocatively named the Innovation Center to discover how to most effectively deliver health care, with $10 billion to spend over a decade. But now that the center has gotten started, many researchers and economists are disturbed that it is not using randomized clinical trials, the rigorous method that is widely considered the gold standard in medical and social science research. Such trials have long been required to prove the efficacy of medicines, and similarly designed studies have guided efforts to reform welfare-to-work, education and criminal justice programs. But they have rarely been used to guide health care policy — and experts say the center is now squandering a crucial opportunity to develop the evidence needed to retool the nation’s troubled health care system in a period of rapid and fundamental change (Kolata, 2/2).

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