How can I advance our value analysis committee?

Many hospitals and health systems have had long-standing value analysis committees in place for several years now. Traditionally, these committees often approved the purchase of new items based on price neutrality or savings. However, many value analysis committees are evolving past this model, finding it restrictive to introducing new technologies and ostracizing to clinicians. As committees grow in size and scope, a couple questions come to mind.

What documentation can help organize and formalize meetings?

Many value analysis committees have found writing up a program charter is helpful when first starting value analysis or as the committee matures. Charters can include the mission and vision of the committee to unify members’ goals, the committee structure, and analysis criteria such as product quality, effect on patient outcomes, price, product maintenance requirements, and any other factors the committee decides are important to consider. An organizational chart depicting the governance of committees may also prove helpful, especially as programs mature. For instance, some organizations may choose to start with a centralized governance model for their committee, but as the committee grows decide to split it into smaller teams dedicated to different service lines or purchasing categories.

Once the committee is established, additional forms can help operations. A product evaluation process flow, for example, can ensure the committee takes a fixed approach to analyzing items. To further streamline the product evaluation process, the committee can use standardized forms with established criteria and templated communication forms to apprise product requestors on the status of their requests.

Who should be involved and what are the best ways to gain their buy in?

As the value analysis space evolved past a purely cost-centric analysis, the need to involve more stakeholders became apparent. Now, on most committees, clinicians also have a seat at the table. Having clinician input is key, as it helps create a more robust picture of the total cost of an item. Clinicians are better suited to know product-related factors like post-care requirements, length of stay, and readmission rates that could financially impact the organization on the back end.

With the benefits of having clinician input in value analysis, the question becomes how to get them involved. Identifying a clinical champion to participate in the committee and advocate for it to their peers is one of the most effective methods for gaining buy-in. HBI has seen success with distributing a physician pulse survey that asks questions such as “What are your expectations of the value analysis committee?” and “What would you hope for the committee to achieve?”

What information can act as supplemental knowledge for analysis purposes?

As stated, value analysis committees are considering much more than cost when regarding new purchases. Clinical trials and studies, if available, can point to the efficacy of devices. For additional efficacy information, the FDA maintains the Manufacturer and User Facility device Experience database, or MAUDE, that reports on adverse effects of device use. Submissions to the database are made by both mandatory reporters, like the manufacturers themselves, as well as clinicians and patients. To identify potential conflicts of interests, Open Payments, a CMS program, reports on payments device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies make to physicians and teaching hospitals. Aggregating these resources can be time consuming, but HBI can help by performing the research and organizing tasks needed to make the information digestible and actionable.

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