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FAQs2019-01-31T16:11:12-06:00
What is the Innovation and Value Initiative?2019-01-31T08:22:27-06:00

IVI is a nonprofit committed to advancing the science and improving the practice of value assessment in healthcare through collaboration among thought leaders from the research community, patient advocacy organizations, insurers, life science firms and pharmaceutical manufacturers, healthcare providers, delivery systems and other organizations.

What is the goal of IVI?2019-01-31T08:23:11-06:00

IVI’s goal is to build a platform that facilitates robust and rigorous patient-centered value assessment of health technologies tailored to the needs and interests of individual decision makers.

Why is IVI needed?2019-01-31T08:24:20-06:00

The need for better information on the relative value of healthcare interventions is increasingly clear as the American healthcare system moves towards value-based models – but existing approaches to value assessment are not up to the task. IVI is working to drive innovation in value assessment through open-source, collaborative model development.

What does IVI do?2019-01-31T08:25:22-06:00

IVI collaborates with healthcare stakeholders to engage in research, methods development, and health economic modeling focused on five core areas:

  • Developing open-source platforms for measuring value
  • Building tools to support decision making
  • Improving the science of value measurement
  • Conducting research to understand and quantify patient perspectives on value
  • Engaging research partners for translational and applied use of OSVP models

For more information, please visit the What We Do section.

Is IVI simply another value framework like those developed by ASCO, ICER, or NCCN?2019-01-31T11:33:51-06:00

No. Existing value frameworks are important first steps toward synthesizing the many determinants of value, but the reality is that we do not have the scientific methods or necessary data to capture the complexity of value in the real world. Patients are diverse, in terms of both clinical factors and their personal priorities and hopes. Value means something different to different decision-makers – what is important to Medicare, for example, is very different from what defines value to a large employer. Value assessment should be flexible and localized to reflect the contexts of individual decision makers.

IVI is working to move the field forward so that decision makers can get the most relevant, credible, and transparent information on value for their particular needs.

How does IVI determine its research agenda?2019-01-31T11:36:12-06:00

IVI’s model development and research projects are all intended to support IVI’s overarching goal of building a platform that facilitates robust and rigorous patient-centered value assessment of health technologies tailored to the needs and interests of individual decision makers. To that end, IVI only undertakes activities that:

  • Contribute to development of the Open-Source Value Platform
  • Contribute to scientific advances for developing credible and relevant patient-centered value assessment
  • Facilitates public and scientific discourse about broader definition of value
  • Builds a community by collaborating with external parties

In consultation with Scientific and Patient Advisors, research partners, and thought leaders in business and academia, IVI leadership develops a recommended research strategy designed both advance scientific methods and provide open-source tools for value assessment. IVI’s Board of Directors is then responsible for reviewing and ultimately approving IVI’s research strategy and resource allocation. IVI’s leadership and Board periodically reassess this research strategy and revise planned activities as needed.

How does IVI keep its research transparent and free from bias?2019-01-31T11:37:08-06:00

Transparency and scientific rigor are core principles of IVI. To ensure our work is transparent and free from bias, IVI makes all of its research and software publicly available for download and use to the greatest extent possible:

  • Disease-specific OSVP models are developed with review and guidance from external clinical experts and representatives from the patient community; subsequent revisions and improvements of these models are determined by feedback and recommendations received as part of the public comment period following each model’s release, with specific improvements identified and prioritized by an objective Technical Expert Panel. All model code is open-source and publicly available, along with the R statistical package and detailed documentation.
  • In the case of IVI’s methodological and patient-focused research projects, research materials (e.g. survey instruments), protocols, analytic code, data (when possible), and research reports are made publicly available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License via the Open Science Framework website.

All IVI research projects are subject to peer review:

  • Research papers are submitted to peer-reviewed journals undergo review requirements as specified by the journal.
  • Research reports that are released through the IVI website are reviewed by independent academics or subject-matter experts, whose reviews and evaluations are made public alongside the research report of interest.

Commentaries and opinion pieces are edited according to the standards of the publishing outlet; these typically do not include academic peer review.

Is IVI’s work patient-centered?2019-01-31T11:40:18-06:00

Having a patient-centered perspective is at the heart of what we do at IVI. Click here to learn about IVI’s commitment to partnering with patients. To learn about the role of patients in the Open-Source Value Platform, click here.

Where does IVI get its funding?2019-01-31T11:42:04-06:00

As a membership-based nonprofit organization, IVI depends on the support of its members for funding. IVI seeks members from across the healthcare spectrum, including self-insured employers, insurers, providers, manufacturers, and patient advocacy groups.

Prior to IVI’s incorporation as a nonprofit organization in 2018, IVI was incubated within Precision Health Economics, a for-profit health economics consultancy. Precision Medicine Group provided initial start-up funding prior to IVI’s launch in 2016. During the period 2016-2018, funding was provided by: AbbVie, Amgen, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Genentech, Merck, National Pharmaceutical Council, Pfizer, PhRMA, Sanofi, and UCB.

All member funding supports IVI’s overall operations and is not tied to a specific activity or objective.

Who can I contact to get more information about IVI or to request further details on an IVI project?2017-11-06T09:35:05-06:00

For general inquiries, please contact us at info@thevalueinitiative.org. To contact a researcher for more information on IVI research areas or a specific project, email research@thevalueinitiative.org.

I want to get involved. How can I help?2019-01-31T11:45:00-06:00

There are many ways to support IVI.

  • Get involved in the research. Want to “get your hands dirty”? If you have experience or expertise that can contribute to development of OSVP decision models, methods-focused research, or studies on patient perspectives on value, contact us to discuss how you can get involved. Fields of particular interest are: economics; medicine; decision modeling; epidemiology; programming; patient-centered research; cost-effectiveness analysis; multi-criteria decision analysis; and other fields related to economic valuation. All levels of expertise are relevant, from students to established thought leaders.
  • Provide feedback on OSVP disease-specific models. Public comment on disease-specific OSVP models is the driving force behind the ongoing improvement of these models and helps to shape IVI’s research strategy. Learn more here.
  • Become a member. IVI’s work is only possible with the support of its members. To become a member of the organization and help IVI accelerate its work to design and disseminate modern methods and models that facilitate value assessment. For more information about membership, see our membership page or send us a message at membership@thevalueinitiative.org.
What are the benefits of becoming an member of IVI?2019-01-31T11:50:18-06:00

IVI is a membership-funded nonprofit, and IVI’s ability to achieve its goal depends on the support of forward-thinking organizations and individuals. By joining IVI, you will connect with a growing collaborative community of researchers, patients, payers and others who are committed to pushing beyond “good enough” in value measurement by identifying, assessing and utilizing new, more sophisticated and relevant methods to measure value in healthcare.

IVI offers different membership options for both individuals and organizations across the stakeholder spectrum in healthcare. Depending on the type of membership, IVI members may participate in the creation and evolution of OSVP models, offer scientific and lived-experience insight to inform IVI’s research agenda, contribute to governance via service on the Board of Directors, and help us build a more meaningful understanding of value in healthcare.

Who can be a member of IVI?2019-01-31T11:51:40-06:00

Any individual or organization interested in advancing the science and improving the practice of healthcare value assessment is welcome to become a member of IVI.

Where can I learn more about membership?2019-01-31T11:52:53-06:00

Visit our membership page for more information about the options for membership. To become a member or learn more, contact us at membership@thevalueinitiative.org.

What is the Open-Source Value Platform?2019-01-31T11:54:41-06:00

Healthcare decision makers are increasingly concerned about making choices based on value – but they need reliable information on value to do so. More importantly, they need information that is specific to them and reflects the context of the actual decision. Fields like cost-effectiveness analysis provide a strong foundation, but the reality is that existing methods are unable to generate the context- and decision maker-specific information needed.

The Open-Source Value Platform (OSVP) was started to move toward the next generation of value assessment. The OSVP provides a transparent process to accelerate learning and the creation of customizable models and other tools for value assessment that is inclusive, scientifically credible, and relevant. The OSVP is a democratic, open, collaborative environment for:

  • Methods research and development
  • Research on patient perspectives on value and methods to quantify them
  • Disease-focused model development and application testing
  • Development of tools to facilitate localized decision making (for payers, clinicians, patients, and employers)

To learn more, visit the Open-Source Value Platform page.

What is available through the Open-Source Value Platform?2019-01-31T11:56:22-06:00

Multiple OSVP-based resources are available:

  • Developer resources: IVI has developed the hesim open-source software package to support modelers, analysts, and others interested in programming their own health economic simulations and decision models. Learn more and access the package here.
  • Disease-specific decision models: IVI has released two disease-specific OSVP decision models for simulating outcomes and assessing relative value of treatment sequences in rheumatoid arthritis (IVI-RA) and EGFR+ non-small cell lung cancer (IVI-NSCLC). The models are open-source, and source code and R packages are free to download and customize. Users can also interact with the models through multiple web interfaces.
  • Facilitated applications: OSVP models are intended to provide real-world decision makers with value assessments tailored to their own perspective, context, and objectives. This is new ground for value assessment experts and decision makers alike, and IVI is available to facilitate application of its OSVP models with organizations interesting in partnering in this effort. Contact us for more information.
  • Forum for debate: There are as many perspectives on value as there are stakeholders in the U.S. healthcare system. The OSVP is intended to give all stakeholders – from patients and providers to insurers and employers – an equal voice in how the science and practice of value assessment evolve. Learn more here.
How do OSVP value assessment models differ from value assessment frameworks such as those from ASCO, ICER, or NCCN?2019-01-31T11:57:38-06:00

IVI’s OSVP value assessment models have a number of key advantages over these other approaches:

  1. Rigorous quantitative analysis: Health benefits, risks and costs are quantified explicitly in OSVP models, making comparison of treatment options more straightforward for decision-makers.
  2. Patient-centricity: One of IVI’s primary goals is to improve the ability of value assessment to quantify and incorporate patient-level determinants of value. IVI partners with patients throughout the development of OSVP models, including qualitative research (e.g. focus groups) to understand patient perspectives on value and partnership with patient advocates. Input from patients helps to identify key determinants of value for patients. OSVP models then incorporate these patient-centered factors to the extent possible. In particular, OSVP models include a multi-criterion decision analysis (MCDA) module for value analysis (in addition to a cost-effectiveness module), which makes it possible to include patient-identified factors and calculate relative value based on patient preferences.
  3. Transparency: OSVP models are completely transparent. All the underlying code is made available free online along with detailed technical documentation. In addition, the public comment, review, and revision process is transparently reported and publicly available.
  4. Flexibility: IVI models allow stakeholders to tailor what value means for their particular situation. For instance, employers may care a lot about worker productivity, whereas policymakers may care about broader societal costs and benefits. Whether using one of our flexible online interfaces or an R statistical package, users can add in or remove different value components based on whether they are relevant to their particular decision at hand. Further, stakeholders can customize the value measurement based on the patient population most relevant to them.
How can I use IVI’s disease-specific models?2019-01-31T11:58:33-06:00

There are many ways to use IVI’s open-source models to compare the value of treatment sequences in specific diseases (currently rheumatoid arthritis and EGFR+ non-small cell lung cancer). These include:

  • Web-based Value Tools: Two apps, designed for different kinds of user, are available for each model:
    • Basic: Streamlined tool designed for a general user and requiring no existing expertise.
    • Advanced: Expanded interface that provides control over all model settings
  • R Packages: Downloadable statistical packages for customized analysis
  • Source Code (on GitHub): For programmers and others who wish to contribute improving the code or adapting it to a unique context
What healthcare interventions do IVI’s disease-specific models evaluate?2019-01-31T11:59:33-06:00

IVI’s disease-specific models currently focus on the relative value of drug therapies and do not include other types of intervention (surgery, for example). To model the relative efficacy of different treatments or interventions, we must first know how the various options compare to one another, which requires reliable clinical evidence from randomized control trials (RCTs). Because of FDA drug approval requirements, RCTs are much more common for drug therapies than for other technologies (e.g. devices) or interventions (e.g. specific surgical techniques). IVI hopes to eventually include all types of interventions, but significant gaps in clinical evidence must first be addressed.

Are IVI’s disease-specific models developed with clinical input?2019-01-31T12:00:37-06:00

Yes! When beginning the development of a disease-specific OSVP model, IVI recruits a Clinical Scientific Advisor with relevant expertise to join the modeling team. Dr. Jeff Curtis, a rheumatologist and professor at the University of Alabama Birmingham, serves in this capacity on the IVI-RA decision model. For the IVI-NSCLC decision model, this clinical expertise is provided by Dr. Karen Reckamp co-director of the Lung Cancer and Thoracic Oncology Program at City of Hope.

In addition, other providers and provider groups are consulted during initial model development, and providers are strongly encouraged to provide feedback during public comment periods. Clinicians also serve on each model’s Technical Expert Panel, an objective group of subject-matter experts that reviews public comments and develops recommendations for improvement of IVI’s models.

How is real-world evidence used in IVI’s disease-specific models?2019-01-31T12:01:52-06:00

To ensure that simulated outcomes reflect outcomes in routine practice, baseline events rates (i.e., the rate of disease progression, the mortality rate, the rate at which patients discontinue treatment), patient preferences, and costs are modeled using real-world data.

To enhance validity, relative treatment effects relative treatment effects (e.g., relative risks, odds ratios, and hazard ratios) are, when possible, based on randomized clinical trials (RCTs).

As a patient, can I contribute to future iterations of IVI’s models?2019-01-31T12:03:01-06:00

We aim to develop models that capture all aspects of value important to the patient. This starts with providing input on our disease-specific models, currently available for rheumatoid arthritis and EGFR+ non-small cell lung cancer. Any feedback you can provide during public comment periods for our models will be considered in modifying the existing versions and ensuring that the models becomes even more patient-centered over time. To learn more and to share your perspective, click here.