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By: Noelle M Cocoros, Jerry H Gurwitz, Mark J Cziraky, Christopher B Granger, Thomas Harkins, Kevin Haynes, Xiaojuan Li, Lauren Parlett, John D Seeger, Sonal Singh, Cheryl N McMahill-Walraven, Richard Platt
There are unique opportunities related to the design and conduct of pragmatic trials embedded in health insurance plans, which have longitudinal data on member/patient demographics, dates of coverage, and reimbursed medical care, including prescription drug dispensings, vaccine administrations, behavioral healthcare encounters, and some laboratory results.
This article describes lessons learned from the conduct and planning of multisite pragmatic trials utilizing this network as well as from a single health plan study, and concludes the type of trial best suited for studies embedded in health plans will be those that require large sample sizes, simple interventions that could be disseminated through health plans, and where data available to the health plan can be leveraged. These trials hold potential for substantial long-term impact on our ability to generate evidence to improve care and population health.