Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

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The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, also known as PCORI, is a United States based non-governmental institute created as part of a modification to the Social Security Act by clauses in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute was established by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[1]


The body is charged with examining the "relative health outcomes, clinical effectiveness, and appropriateness" of different medical treatments by evaluating existing studies and conducting its own. Its 19-member board is to include patients, physicians, nurses, hospitals, drug makers, device manufacturers, insurers, payers, government officials and health experts. It will not have the power to mandate or even endorse coverage rules or reimbursement for any particular treatment. Medicare may take the Institute’s research into account when deciding what procedures it will cover, so long as the new research is not the sole justification and the agency allows for public input.[2]

The law governing the Institute prohibits it from developing or employing "a dollars-per-quality adjusted life year (or similar measure that discounts the value of a life because of an individual’s disability) as a threshold to establish what type of health care is cost effective or recommended".[3][4] This makes it different from the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which determines cost-effectiveness directly based on quality-adjusted life year valuations.

According to Cecilia Rivera Casale, Senior Advisor for Minority Health at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, PCORI "will have the opportunity to work with researchers to develop methodologies for addressing the specific needs of priority populations that traditionally have not been the focus of randomized controlled trials. This work is part of a more general effort to develop more pragmatic, less time-consuming research methods appropriate for these populations."[5]


  1. ^ Establishing Legislation
  2. ^ Kaiser Health News (2012). "True or false? Top 7 health care fears". Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Neumann, Peter J; Weinstein, Milton C (2010). "Legislating against use of cost-effectiveness information". New England Journal of Medicine 363 (16): 1495–1497. doi:10.1056/NEJMp1007168. PMID 20942664. 
  4. ^ "Social Security Act §1182". Social Security Agency. Retrieved 2014-04-13. 
  5. ^ "Focusing on Priority Populations: An Interview With Cecilia Rivera Casale, Senior Advisor for Minority Health, AHRQ". Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2013-04-017. Retrieved 2013-08-27. 

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