Increasing Use of Value Analysis Committees in US Hospitals: Implications for Healthcare Providers and Manufacturers

Laura Morgan

June 2015, Vol 6, No 5 - Economics of Cancer Care


Philadelphia, PA—The growing focus on identifying and preventing overpayments and reducing waste in the healthcare system has prompted hospitals to adopt value analysis committees to curb unnecessary medical supply spending. In 2012, as many as 64% of US hospitals were using a value analysis committee to evaluate new devices and new supplies used in their institutions.

Value analysis committees are currently responsible for identifying the best-in-class drugs and obtaining them at lower prices through volume discounts; these committees help to maintain balance between providing cost-effective patient care and the use of novel medical technologies.

A new study by Daniela Hristova-Neeley, PhD, MBA, Consultant, GfK, Wayland, MA, and colleagues, showed that value analysis committees have become integral to US hospitals; therefore, medical device companies could benefit from learning what criteria these committees use when evaluating and approving new medical devices.

The results of the study were presented at the 2015 International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research annual international meeting.

Study Details

Using qualitative interviews (N = 40)­ and quantitative online surveys (N = 76), Dr Hristova-Neeley and colleagues collected data from hospital decision makers associated with value analysis committees to quantify the use of value analysis committees among US hospitals and to examine the functions of value analysis committees, triggers of drug reviews, and evidence needed for drug reviews.

Study participants were all part of their hospital value analysis committee and had served in that position for ?1 year.

Based on this study, the value analysis committees comprise:

  • Physicians
  • Hospital administration
  • Nurses
  • Technicians
  • Supply management.
The physicians have a very strong influence over drug selection. Overall, operating room physicians and supervisors were listed as the most influential ­in presenting new technologies to the value analysis committee.

In addition, 100% of the hospitals included in this study use value analysis committees for selecting new drugs. These committees meet several times annually to make decisions based on established criteria.

According to the investigators, value analysis committees “are now a standard process at US hospitals; therefore, medical device companies must have a thorough understanding of the process and evidence requirements.”

Implications to Providers and Manufacturers

Several factors can prompt drug reviews, including a price increase of ?5% for an existing drug, the introduction of a new drug into the market, and the review of an existing drug if a new drug emerges with improved features.

All the hospitals in this study conduct a value analysis committee review of all new drugs and other medical products.

All of the decision makers regarded clinical outcomes as the most important factor when reviewing a drug; however, the participants agreed that clinical trial outcomes may not translate well to all hospitals. Conversely, economic outcomes ranked the lowest in priority during drug reviews and were more relevant to hospital administrators than to pharmacy directors and to physicians.

These study findings highlight the important role that value analysis committees play in selecting medical devices, and provide valuable criteria information to medical device and hospital supply companies.

“The one-size-fits-all approach to value message communication is no longer sufficient, and attention must be paid to the specifics of the individual facility in order to secure product approval,” Hristova-Neeley and colleagues concluded.