PCORI Board of Governors determines priorities at first public meeting

Priorities included empowering patients, focusing on underserved populations, and developing new research methodologies

On November 23, the Board of Governors of the new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) held their first meeting to discuss the mission and vision for the Institute as well as planning and communications over the next six months. Board members expressed support for many research priorities including: empowering patients; focusing on underserved populations; studying how interventions impact populations and subpopulations; the need for shorter, targeted studies in addition to large-scale randomized clinical trials; and developing new research methodologies as well as tools for communities to determine variables for risk mitigation. Much of the meeting was focused on how to build on the foundation of existing research and data. 

Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) who represents NIH on the Board, brought attention to the “critical need to look at the science of health behavior change… both of patients and of providers.”  Said Collins, “We have to understand how health behavior can be modified, and that in itself is a research project.”  Grayson Norquist, Professor and Chair of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, also emphasized the need to look at best practices for behavioral modification.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) established the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund, which will fund PCORI through 2019. The Trust Fund has been allocated $10 million for 2010, $50 million for 2011, and $150 million for 2012. Beginning in 2013, the Trust Fund will be financed by transfers from the Medicare Trust Fund ($2 per Medicare beneficiary annually) as well as through private health plans ($2 per patient annually), adjusted for health expenditures and inflation.

APA’s Science GRO staff worked with the Board of Scientific Affairs in October to nominate psychologists for consideration to the Methodology Committee of PCORI. The Board expects the Comptroller General to announce appointees to that committee in the next 30-60 days.