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Nat Med. 2012 Aug;18(8):1164. doi: 10.1038/nm0812-1164.

Straight talk with...Joe Selby.


The US Supreme Court's ruling in late June to uphold most of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 decided more than just the fate of the law's individual mandate for health care. It also allowed many of the other provisions of the legislation to safely go ahead. Chief among those was the establishment of a comparative-effectiveness research hub called the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), located in Washington, DC. With a budget of $3.3 billion over the next seven years and an independent status, PCORI is now tasked with creating the evidence base to help patients and doctors make more informed decisions about their medical choices. Leading the fledgling institute is executive director Joe Selby. A family physician and clinical epidemiologist, Selby joined PCORI in July 2011 after 13 years as head of research at Kaiser Permanente, the California-based health provider. Even amid all the uncertainty that surrounded the future of US healthcare reform, Selby, together with PCORI's board of directors, managed to help craft the institute's first research agenda and to fund 50 pilot projects totaling $30 million, all in the spring of this year. Elie Dolgin spoke with Selby to discuss how PCORI will influence the debate about which treatments work best.

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