Health Care in Transition: Technology Assessment in the Private Sector


Health Care in Transition: Technology Assessment in the Private Sector

Medical technology, broadly construed, embraces innovations in medicine--new drugs, biologics, medical devices, and procedures--as well as existing therapeutic and diagnostic capabilities. The evaluation of the clinical and cost-effectiveness of medical technology, therefore, is a matter of substantial interest to many parties. Technology assessment (TA) is the term most often applied to such evaluation.

This report is addressed to all those concerned with the institutions and processes by which medical technology is evaluated, both in the public and private sectors of the health care system. In addition, those concerned with clinical practice guidelines will also find the report of interest, as both TA and guidelines share a commitment to evidence-based analyses. The audiences for this report include not just those having focused responsibilities in technology assessment, but all those policy makers and managers who are actual or prospective users of TA. The report was prepared by Richard Rettig of the RAND Corporation for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation and the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. Cheryl Austein, Director of the Division of Public Health Policy of ASPE and Peter Bouxsein of AHCPR served as federal project officers.

Go to the Executive Summary and Chapter 1 of this report (39k).

The full text of this report in the Microsoft Word® format is available via anonymous FTP at as a self-extracting (.exe) compressed file (151 K).