ICER's mission is to lead innovation in comparative effectiveness research through methods that integrate considerations of clinical benefit and economic value. Through a unique collaboration with patients, clinicians, manufacturers, insurers and other healthcare stakeholders, ICER develops tools to support patient decisions and medical policy that share the goal of achieving maximum value for every healthcare dollar.
|Cervical Spinal Fusion for Degnerative Disc Disease|
Since 2012, ICER has served as one of the Technology Assessment Centers for the Washington State Health Care Authority’s Health Technology Assessment Program. The program is designed to ensure that medical treatments and services paid for with state health care dollars are safe and proven to work. The program contracts for scientific, evidence-based reports about whether certain medical devices, procedures, and tests are safe and work as promoted, and an independent clinical committee of health care practitioners then uses the reports to determine if programs should pay for the medical device, procedure, or test. The clinical committee has a legislative mandate to consider, in an open and transparent process, evidence regarding the safety, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness of the technology being reviewed.
In February of 2013, ICER completed a Technology Assessment of cervical spinal fusion for degnerative disc disease in advance of the public meeting of the clinical committee in March 2013. Chronic neck pain is a prevalent and costly disorder. Approximately 15-20% of adults report at least one episode of neck pain during a given year, and nearly half of these individuals seek care. On an annual basis, it is estimated that 11-14% of workers will have some limitation in their activities due to neck pain. While no recent studies have been conducted in the US on the economic burden of neck pain specifically, the combined burden of neck and back disorders in this country has been estimated to total $86 billion.