Three CHEERS For Transparency In Health Care Economic Study Information

Published Mar 17, 2013
Lawrenceville, NJ, USA – More than ever, rising health care costs have led to the need for good health care decisions and good use of health care resources. One way to accomplish this is through health economic evaluations. These research studies compare different health care choices in terms of treatment and cost. For example, health economic evaluations are used to measure the effectiveness of prevention programs, such as vaccinations, surgical procedures and how patient care is organized. Patients and doctors use the latest research studies to make health care decisions. But when details are lacking it can lead to bad decisions and costly mistakes. While all economic evaluations assess costs, there are different ways to measure and value the results of health care treatments. This makes it hard to compare different research or clinical trial studies, like comparing apples to oranges. It is also important that all the information needed to check the study’s accuracy is included. Missing, misleading or ignored study information can lead to unnecessary spending and may even cost lives. For example, authors may report the overall costs of making a decision, but fail to break down the costs or show how calculations were made so that information is understandable to the reader. According to Dr. David Moher, Senior Scientist, Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, “To help ensure the results of research can be used optimally by clinicians, health economists, patients and others, it is essential that the methods and results describing the research are completely and transparently reported.” The ISPOR Health Economic Evaluation Guidelines Publication Task Force composed of leading experts in economic evaluation from a variety of work environments, government decision makers, and biomedical journal editors, created the Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards, or CHEERS, statement and report. The goal was to produce recommendations on how to improve the clarity, transparency, and consistency of health economic research studies and how they are reported. Better reporting and better studies will improve the quality of health care information with the ultimate aim of improved health care cost effectiveness. The CHEERS statement, which contains a standard checklist of essential information to include in these studies, has been endorsed and published across 10 international scientific journals. [Husereau D, Drummond M, Petrou A, et al. Consolidated health economic evaluation reporting standards (CHEERS) statement. Value Health 2013;16:e1-e5.] This ISPOR task force report provides explanation and examples for each of the 24 recommendations contained in the CHEERS checklist. “Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards (CHEERS) – Explanation and Elaboration: A Report of the ISPOR Health Economic Evaluations Publication Guidelines Task Force” is published in ISPOR’s official journal, Value in Health and is available to the public via the ISPOR website ( For more information on CHEERS and the ISPOR Health Economic Evaluation Guidelines Publication Task Force Task Force, please visit their webpage on the ISPOR website: “We are seeing a worldwide movement to increase the precision and transparency of research reporting to help clinicians, patients and decision makers come up with the best most cost effective treatments,” said lead author of the CHEERS statement and task force report, Don Husereau, MSc, Senior Associate at Institute of Health Economics; Senior Scientist, University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology and Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa. Husereau added, “I think the incredible spirit of collaboration across editorial and scientific communities to produce this invaluable tool speaks to its importance.”

Value in Health (ISSN 1098-3015) publishes papers, concepts, and ideas that advance the field of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research as well as policy papers to help health care leaders make evidence-based decisions. The journal is published bi-monthly and has over 8,000 subscribers (clinicians, decision makers, and researchers worldwide).

International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) is a nonprofit, international, educational and scientific organization that strives to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care resource use to improve health.

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