Employer Insights from Patient Centered-outcomes Research Institute


The National Alliance was selected a recipient of two Engagement Awards through the Patient-centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) now underway through February 2021.  The purpose of both grants is two-fold; 1) Through the efforts of Alliance dissemination campaigns, employers will increase their awarenesss and utilization of healthcare research to positively impact patient-centered outcomes of their workforce and 2) PCORI research will become more relevant to Employers through their deeper understanding of healthcare issues that are important to the Purchaser Stakeholder. 

PCORI Comparison Model 


Why Women Choose Double Mastectomy 
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Type 2 Diabetes: Does Daily Self-Monitoring of
Blood Glucose Improve A1c Levels and Quality of Life?
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PCORI Research Topics

Link below to be directed to PCORI webpages that are
focused on research topics relevant for employers.


Highlights from Selected PCORI Research

This study focused on people with type 2 diabetes who don’t take insulin. The study compared people who did and didn’t check their blood sugar levels daily to see which group a better job kept their blood sugar at good levels. The study looked at what happened if patients who checked their blood sugar levels also received text messages explaining their blood sugar levels. The study also looked at the effects of checking blood sugar levels daily on the people’s quality of life.

What were the results?

At the end of the one-year study, there were no differences, on average, in blood sugar levels and quality of life between people who checked their blood sugar daily and those who didn’t. People who tested their blood sugar levels daily had slightly lower blood sugar levels in the middle of the study than those who didn’t test. But this difference didn’t last until the end of the study. Among people who checked their blood sugar levels, there were no differences in blood sugar levels or quality of life between those who did and didn’t receive text messages.

How can people use the results?

People with type 2 diabetes who don’t use insulin can use these results to ask their doctors if they should check their blood sugar levels daily.

What is the relevance for Employers?

Implications for employers can range from assessing health plan and vendor contracting language to implementing revised engagement strategies for different levels of health risk.

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Disadvantaged patients with chronic pain benefit from simplified nondrug therapies. Addresses not only disparities in pain care but the effectiveness on non-drug based treatments. The primary focus is on cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) and non-drug pain management education. Benefits include lower overall treatment costs, avoidance of risks associated with opioid consumption and an indication that a larger population base can be addressed because this treatment is largely provided in a group session.

Quotes from Researcher

“The preliminary analyses of the resulting data indicate that immediately after the treatment period, patients who received pain education, with or without CBT, experienced less pain and fewer symptoms of depression, and functioned better than those with medical care only,” Thorn says.

Early on, when I visited one of the pain clinics where we conducted the study, the head physician said to me, 'Dr. Thorn, what are you doing to my patients? They're coming in, smiling at me, teaching me about chronic pain. This is magic!' That was so gratifying to hear. Beverly E. Thorn, PhD

What is the relevance for Employers?

For employers, these are significant benefits that relate to healthcare benefits, pharmaceutical consumption, workforce education about pain and opioids and overall opportunity to improve the health and wellness of the workforce.

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What was the research about?

Nearly 1 million people in the United States have Parkinson’s disease. People with Parkinson’s disease may have poor balance or shaking in their hands, legs, or faces. These symptoms often get worse over time. Many patients don’t live near a doctor with special training to treat this disease. As the disease gets worse, it gets harder for patients to travel to see a specialist. Caregivers often travel with patients.

The research team wanted to learn if video house calls with specialists were convenient and improved quality of life for people with Parkinson’s disease. The team also wanted to learn if video house calls improved quality of care, reduced travel time, and reduced burden on caregivers due to the demands of care.

What were the results?

  • The research team found that video house calls were a convenient way for people with Parkinson’s disease to get care from specialists. Most patients reported being satisfied or very satisfied with care they received during video house calls.
  • After 12 months, the team didn’t find any differences between patients who received video house calls and those who didn’t in quality of life, quality of care, or amount of caregiver burden.
  • Compared with patients who had in-person visits at clinics, patients who used video house calls spent less time traveling to doctor visits. Patients who used video house calls also spent more time talking with specialists during visits.

How can people use the results?

Patients with Parkinson’s disease or those who care for them could ask their regular doctors about using video house calls to meet with a specialist. Video house calls may not be available in some parts of the country.

What is the relevance for Employers?

Employer Insights: Virtual appointments with specialists have been a growing trend in healthcare and in health plan offerings. This is a study that supports its effectiveness as a viable option.

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What we plan to study:

We will evaluate a healthcare system initiative to reduce risks of long-term opioid use. The initiative dramatically reduced use of high opioid doses and markedly increased monitoring of patients using opioids long-term. The opioid risk reduction initiative was implemented by some clinics of a large health plan, but not by others serving comparable patients. Our goal is to compare patients from clinics that did and did not use the initiative, to learn how the initiative affected patient health and safety outcomes.

What we hope to achieve:

Our goal is to help clinicians and patients nationwide reduce harms of long-term opioid use by changing how opioids are prescribed and managed, while ensuring safe, compassionate, and effective chronic pain care. Integrating results from this evaluation with other relevant research, we will disseminate a state-of-the-art toolkit and implementation guide to help primary care clinicians regionally and nationally reduce opioid risks for chronic pain patients.

What is the relevance for Employers?

Employers could benefit from having access to this toolkit especially since the focus of this study includes how health plans address opioid prescription and management methods.

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This website was partially funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute® (PCORI®) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award (EADI-12030)