Recent Awards

Occasionally Donaghue is able to provide support to projects that are aligned with its overall mission but may not fit into its current grant programs. This summer two such awards were made to The Hastings Center and the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review.

Surprise billing is an unjustifiable practice that contributes to patients’ medical debt and erodes trust in American health care. The American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation together with The Hastings Center and the University of Connecticut Health Disparities Institute are convening a high-level working group to address the complex policy problem of surprise billing. The goal is to leverage the medical community’s commitments to professionalism in order to develop a set of practical recommendations as to how not only medical professionals, but also provider organizations, payers and legislators, can address surprise billing.

The composition of the group will be intentionally broad, including representatives from a range of medical specialties, health systems and health plans, patient advocates and academics. The group will meet virtually four times over the course of the coming six months and seeks to intervene on what appears to be a stalled effort to develop ethically-grounded solutions to the problem of surprise billing. We see this work as a key part of the medical profession’s obligations to patients and society.

Donaghue contributed $30, 000 for this effort, which is also supported by a grant from the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation.

In 2020 the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) launched a new Patient Engagement Program to empower and partner with patient organizations during every value assessment of a new drug. Led by Vice President of Patient Engagement Yvette Venable, the new program seeks to build greater understanding of ICER’s role in the healthcare system, facilitate patient and patient organization participation in the ICER process and enhance ICER’s patient-focused methodologies to ensure patient perspectives are appropriately considered in value assessment.

Seed support of $75, 000 from Donaghue will enable ICER to pilot the following activities:

  • Establish a Patient Leaders Working Group to work with ICER and other stakeholders to review and evaluate approaches to patient-focused research for ICER reviews.
  • Launch an online ICER Resource Center for Patient Organizations as a one-stop shop for ICER educational tools for patient organizations. It will include examples of best practices for patient participation in ICER reviews, an online question/polling mechanism for ongoing dialogue, slide libraries and patient-friendly materials to support participation in ICER’s process.
  • Pilot a Patient Participation Honoraria Program to recognize that participation in an ICER review can be a major undertaking for organizations.

You can learn more about ICER’s perspective on the patient voice in value assessment from Donaghue’s Soapbox blog.