This goal will be achieved by the Secretary by allocating funds appropriated for comparative effectiveness research to help produce and provide information and research on the relative strengths and weaknesses of various medical interventions. The Department of Health and Human Services uses the definition of comparative effectiveness research as set forth by the Federal Coordinating Council for CER:
Comparative effectiveness research is the conduct and synthesis of systematic research comparing different interventions and strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat and monitor health conditions. The purpose of this research is to inform patients, providers, and decision-makers, responding to their expressed needs, about which interventions are most effective for which patients under specific circumstances. To provide this information, comparative effectiveness research must assess a comprehensive array of health-related outcomes for diverse patient populations. Defined interventions compared may include medications, procedures, medical and assistive devices and technologies, behavioral change strategies, and delivery system interventions. This research necessitates the development, expansion, and use of a variety of data sources and methods to assess comparative effectiveness.
Systematic research methods can include randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses, observational cohort analyses, and other new and emerging methodologies. Comparative effectiveness research will give clinicians and patients valid information used to make decisions that will improve the performance of the U.S. health care system. This comparative effectiveness research will improve health outcomes and the safety, quality, affordability and accessibility of health care, including behavioral health care and long-term care. This research supports the strategic goal of high quality, affordable health care for Americans. It specifically supports HHS strategic plan goal 1: improve the safety, quality, affordability and accessibility of health care, including behavioral health care and long-term care.