Healthcare Delivery
Research Blog

March 2016


Last November the NIH issued a Notice clarifying the types of economics research that the agency will fund.  Our OBSSR colleagues wrote an informative blog about the Notice in December.  Although we in HDRP have received few questions about this notice, I thought it would be useful to provide some basic suggestions.

The most important thing to realize is that NCI continues to fund research that falls under the rubric of “economics.”  The grants currently in our portfolio all appear to fit within the priority areas identified in the Notice.  In addition, the research resources created by HDRP, like the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS): Experiences with Cancer Survivorship Supplement, are all consistent with the types of supported work described... Read more


The “How Do We Assess Quality in the Age of Precision Medicine?” session at the ASCO Quality Symposium on February 26, 2016, provided a nice overview of the challenges physicians and delivery systems are encountering as precision cancer approaches move from the lab and clinical trials into community use. 

I would describe the first challenge as too much data and too little evidence.  The session chair, Allison Kurian from Stanford, noted that her genetics clinic has gotten substantially more complicated since the days when tests for germline mutations of BRCA1/2 were the only service offered.  A multiplex panel for somatic mutations in tumors may currently test for as many as 70 mutations.  Whole genome sequencing identifies innumerable variants, most of them of unknown significance.  Decisions must... Read more

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