About Publications

Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes Health and Medicine Division (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.

  • Facilitating Collaborations to Develop Combination ... Released: October 31, 2011
    Advances in biomedical research have increased our understanding of the complex nature of disease and the interaction of multiple molecular pathways involved in cancer. Combining investigational products early in their development is thought to be a promising strategy for identifying effective therapies. The IOM’s National Cancer Policy Forum held a workshop to discuss challenges and identify potential solutions to improve collaboration and advance the development of combination investigational cancer therapies.
  • Essential Health Benefits: Balancing Coverage and Cost ... Released: October 06, 2011
    The Department of Health and Human Services requested that the IOM recommend criteria and methods for determining and updating the essential health benefits (EHB) that, as specified in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will be included in certain health insurance plans for individuals and small businesses beginning in 2014. The task of the IOM was not to decide what is covered in the EHB, but rather to propose a set of criteria and methods that should be used in deciding what benefits are most important for coverage. The committee saw its primary task as finding the right balance between making a breadth of coverage available for individuals at a cost they could afford. This balance will help ensure that an estimated 68 million people will have access to care covered by the EHB.
  • Geographic Adjustment in Medicare Payment: Phase I ... Released: September 28, 2011
    Medicare is the largest health insurer in the United States, providing coverage for 39 million people aged 65 and older and 8 million people with disabilities. Although Medicare is a national program, it adjusts fee-for-service payments according to the geographic location of a practice. At the request of Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services, the IOM examined ways to improve the accuracy of data sources and methods used for making the geographic adjustments in payments to providers. The IOM recommends an integrated approach that includes moving to a single source of wage and benefits data; changing to one set of payment areas and labor markets; and expanding the range of occupations included in the index calculations.
  • Implementing a National Cancer Clinical Trials System for the ... Released: July 22, 2011
    The National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program works to advance patient care and research. Despite broad participation in the program, financial strain and procedural burdens limit the ability of the Cooperative Group Program to undertake medical practice-changing clinical research. The IOM’s National Cancer Policy Forum and the American Society of Clinical Oncology held a workshop on March 21, 2011 to follow up on the 2010 IOM report A National Clinical Trials System for the 21st Century: Reinvigorating the NCI Cooperative Group Program, which made recommendations to strengthen the NCI Cooperative Group Program.
  • Improving Access to Oral Health Care for Vulnerable and ... Released: July 13, 2011
    Good health requires good oral health, yet millions of Americans, especially vulnerable and underserved populations, lack access to basic oral health care. The Health Resources and Services Administration and the California HealthCare Foundation asked the IOM and the National Research Council to assess the current oral health care system and make recommendations on ways to improve access to care for vulnerable and underserved populations. The IOM recommends changes to incorporate oral health care into overall health care, changes in education and training of all types of health care professionals, and changes in how oral health care is financed and delivered.
  • Patient-Centered Cancer Treatment Planning: Improving the ... Released: June 13, 2011
    The life-threatening nature of cancer and the complexity of cancer treatment options, each with its own set of potential risks and benefits, make it difficult for people with cancer to make decisions about their care. A cancer treatment plan—a written document describing the path of care and who is responsible for each portion of that care—can provide patients with a roadmap to navigate the uncertain path they face. However, most providers lack the tools, time, and resources needed to efficiently and effectively prepare such plans with their patients. The IOM’s National Cancer Policy Forum held a workshop to discuss ways to create a more coordinated, patient-centered cancer treatment planning process.
  • Child and Adolescent Health and Health Care Quality ... Released: April 25, 2011
    Despite the fact that the U.S. government currently supports hundreds of data sets and measures through federal surveys and administrative data systems, the United States lacks robust national- and state-level information about the health status or health care quality of children and adolescents, particularly in areas that could provide guidance to policy makers and health care providers. At the request of Congress, the IOM and National Research Council evaluated the state of efforts to measure child and adolescent health and the quality of their health care services.
  • Advancing Oral Health in America : Health and Medicine ... Released: April 08, 2011
    Though it is highly preventable, tooth decay is a common chronic disease in the United States and one of the most common diseases worldwide. Individuals and many health care professionals remain unaware of the risk factors and preventive approaches for this and many other oral diseases, and they do not fully appreciate how oral health affects overall health and well-being. In this report, the IOM highlights the vital role that HHS can play in improving oral health and oral health care in the United States if HHS’s efforts have clearly articulated goals; are coordinated effectively and adequately funded; and have high-level accountability.
  • Clinical Practice Guidelines We Can Trust : Health and ... Released: March 23, 2011
    Healthcare providers may rely on clinical practice guidelines, in addition to their knowledge, skills, experience, and patient preferences, when faced with difficult decisions when treating patients. Clinical practice guidelines are statements that include recommendations intended to optimize patient care that are informed by a systematic review of evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of alternative care options. At the request of the U.S. Congress, the IOM developed eight standards for developing rigorous, trustworthy clinical practice guidelines.
  • Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic ... Released: March 23, 2011
    Healthcare decision makers—including clinicians and other healthcare providers—increasingly turn to systematic reviews for reliable, evidence-based comparisons of health interventions. Systematic reviews identify, select, assess, and synthesize the findings of similar but separate studies and can help clarify what is known and not known about the potential benefits and harms of drugs, devices, and other healthcare services. In this report, the IOM recommends standards for systematic reviews of the comparative effectiveness of medical or surgical interventions.