One rarely advertised provision of the bill is the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). This is a private institute, publicly funded, which includes a huge diversity of players, from patients to providers and sundry others, who are charged with figuring out exactly what Patient Centered Outcomes Research is, and then making it happen and disseminating the results. According to a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine, they have been holding meetings, many of them public, just to figure out what it is that they feel they should do and how they will most effectively do that thing. At this point the groundwork is mostly done.
The PCORI has decided that its prime directive is to help patients answer these 4 questions:
- “Given my personal characteristics, conditions and preferences, what should I expect will happen to me?”
- “What are my options and what are the benefits and harms of those options?”
- “What can I do to improve the outcomes that are most important to me?”
- “How can the health care system improve my chances of achieving the outcomes I prefer?