Kaiser Permanente has been doing comparative effectiveness research for years and is considered a national leader in the field.

The United States will spend $3.5 billion on such research through 2019 under the national health reform law.

Comparative effectiveness research analyzes which treatments work best for patients to improve decision-making.

Findings that changed Kaiser practices include:

  • Sigmoidoscopy screening for colorectal cancer reduced deaths by 60 percent compared with no screening.

  • Using electronic health records can improve outcomes for diabetes patients.

  • A newer version of a stool test was more effective than previous ones in screening for colorectal cancer.

  • Hospitals treating patients with severe heart attacks can lower deaths by doing angiographies to check for blood vessel abnormalities.