Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Launches Evidence Street Website to Streamline Evaluations of Medical Devices, Diagnostics and Pharmaceuticals
CHICAGO – Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) announced a new web-based platform that provides health care decision-makers easy access to impartial medical evidence reviews for devices, diagnostics and pharmaceuticals.
The platform Evidence Street™ was created to make BCBSA’s evidence review process of medical technologies and therapies more transparent, efficient and comprehensive. BCBSA collects and analyzes available peer-reviewed evidence on devices, diagnostics and pharmaceuticals, then synthesizes that data and ascertains if the evidence is sufficient or insufficient to determine the effect on health outcomes.
By developing an online platform, health care product manufacturers are able to monitor when BCBSA is reviewing particular medical categories and are able to easily submit their peer-reviewed evidence for consideration during the review process. In addition, those subscribers who submit evidence will receive a customized report providing feedback about any relevant gaps in the findings from BCBSA.
Reviews are subsequently published on the Evidence Street website, which is accessible to Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies and subscribing health care device, diagnostic and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Medical societies, health care associations and academic medical research centers may also subscribe to the service.
“Today, as medical technology, treatment protocols and new discoveries accelerate and continue to evolve, Evidence Street provides an efficient platform to facilitate collaborative exchange of information between health care decision makers about the state of the evidence to inform health care decisions,” said Dr. Trent Haywood, senior vice president and chief medical officer for BCBSA. “Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have long been committed to improving population health outcomes, and one of the most important ways we do that is by determining if current use of devices, diagnostics and pharmaceuticals is rooted in clinical evidence.”
BCBSA, which will provide about 460 medical reviews a year, does not determine whether each of the 36 Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies nationwide cover a medical technology. However, it provides BCBS companies with evidence opinions they often use as an input into those decisions.
Evidence Street builds on BCBSA’s history and commitment to evidence-based medicine and technology assessment. BCBSA pioneered the development of scientific criteria for assessing medical technologies through objective, comprehensive reviews of clinical evidence with a mission to provide health care decision-makers with rigorous and credible assessments from available evidence.
"Evidence Street is a destination where the market meets the evidence," Haywood added. “Our goal is to create clarity, efficiency and transparency for health care decision-makers regarding the current state of the evidence.”
About Evidence Street® (“Site”) Disclaimer
Evidence submitted to BCBSA via the Site is considered in the same impartial manner as other evidence provided manually by Subscribers, non-Subscribers, and other sources. Subscription or use of this Site will not enhance review of the submitted evidence or influence BCBSA’s impartial evaluation of all relevant evidence from all appropriate sources.
This Site and BCBSA do not determine medical policy, provide health insurance benefits information, or adjudicate coverage claims for any Blue Plan; do not provide medical, legal, or financial advice; and are not intended for consumer use.
Each local Blue Plan, as an independent entity, determines its own medical policies and benefits, adjudicates its own members’ claims, and may accept or reject information on this Site in its own discretion.
Walking Down Evidence Street™: Where the Market Meets Evidence
Hi everyone. Welcome to this podcast from Cambridge Healthtech Institute for the Next Generation Diagnostic Summit, which runs August 15th to the 18th in Washington D.C. I'm Mana Chandhok, an associate producer. We have with us today one of our keynote speakers from the coverage and reimbursement of Advanced Diagnostics Tract, Dr. Susanne Belinson, executive director of clinical markets at Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Dr. Belison, thank you for joining us.
My pleasure. Thank you.
Would you mind telling us a little bit about the Evidence Street program that you are leading?
So Evidence Street is a web-based platform that was launched out of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association's office of clinical affairs. It focuses on providing a place where the market can meet the evidence, a place where stakeholders in the evidence review process can come and access a standard set of evidence reviews and access a transparent process by which those evidence reviews get updated. The primary vision around that process is that if we can get all of the evidence out into the market, that benefits all stakeholders through transparency and engagement in an efficient process.
We are also planning a panel discussion on evidence with payers like yourself and Alberto Gutierrez from the FDA. Do you think it is possible to come up with more standardized requirements for the evidence that companies need to generate for payers and regulators?
I do think that it is possible to get to a place of greater standardization, and I think that that is part of the vision of Evidence Street and the work that we are undertaking at this time. I do think that at times the requirements of a regulator such as the FDA and the evidentiary requirements for payers may be slightly different or they may require some elements that are the same and some elements that may be different. I do think that it is essential as we move forward to provide very clear and actionable information to manufacturers and those researchers who may work with them that the FDA collaborates with other HTA organizations and payers collaborate together to begin to generate a common set of standards that can be communicated out into the marketplace.
We are looking forward to the summit and hope it to be productive for each and every participant. What do you expect to gain from the meeting as a speaker and an attendee?
I think what I always look to gain in these types of interactions is just engagement and the opportunity to hear others' perspectives. I think that we often work in very siloed environments and I've had the great opportunity and pleasure over the last couple of years to engage with a lot of stakeholders across the market and I find that all of these opportunities really provide me an opportunity to grow in my understanding of other peoples' businesses and the way in which my business fits into the overall marketplace. I really just look forward to the open engagement and dialogue and hopefully learning a few new things.
Dr. Belinson, thank you for your time and insights today.
Thank you very much.
That was Dr. Susanne Belinson of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. She'll be speaking at the Coverage and Reimbursement of Advanced Diagnostics Track at the upcoming Next Generation Diagnostics Summit, taking place August 15th to the 18th in Washington D.C. Thank you for listening.
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