New Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute seeks public comment on its mission

APA plans to submit comments and encourages others to submit feedback regarding the important role of behavioral and social science approaches

The board of governors of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has announced a 45-day period for public input, which began on July 20 and concludes on September 2. The process to receive public feedback on the working definition of “patient-centered outcomes research” via the institute’s website is the first structured solicitation of public input by PCORI. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund, which will fund PCORI through 2019, has been allocated $10 million for 2010, $50 million for 2011, and $150 million for 2012. Beginning in 2013, the Trust Fund will be financed by transfers from the Medicare Trust Fund ($2 per Medicare beneficiary annually) as well as through private health plans ($2 per patient annually), adjusted for health expenditures and inflation. The board is currently working to develop a “tier one” grant process, focusing on innovation grants that will define barriers to efficient clinical research and that will explore novel clinical research infrastructures, selective statistical and clinical trial methodology, and novel approaches to patient engagement. 

The definition of “patient-centered outcomes research” is expected to guide the types of research that the institute funds. One question on the online feedback form is, “Is the definition broad enough to include the range of research that PCORI should fund?” Three of four earlier drafts of the working definition, presented (PDF, 1.21MB) by the institute’s Methodology Committee at a board meeting in March, include mention of a behavioral component. (See slides 9-12). However the current working definition on which the board seeks public input does not mention a behavioral component. APA plans to submit comments and encourages others to submit feedback as well, particularly regarding the important role of behavioral and social science approaches to understanding health and developing interventions, and to share your feedback with APA’s Science GRO by emailing Christine Jamieson.