Carelon Research celebrates 25th anniversary of founder’s day: A letter from the president
July 2021 | Written by Mark Cziraky, PharmD, CLS, FAHA, FNLA
After many years of providing clinical decision support for healthcare providers and patients in a large group practice in Delaware, Marcus and I began in 1996 to recognize the critical need for more relevant insight available at the point of care when the most important decisions were being made.
It wasn’t simply a matter that existing evidence had to be found and communicated; it was that the evidence most relevant to the individual patient did not exist. We knew we had to find a way to systematically evaluate the outcomes of the decisions we made in the day-to-day care of patients so the insight derived could be used to inform future decisions.
We had many years of experience serving as a clinical trial center within the group practice conducting outpatient phase II to -IV research studies, and through this experience we had a good appreciation for both the strengths and limitations of results from these trials when applied to the real-world setting. That’s when we began experimenting with medical record data from the practice and claims data from the payer that owned the group practice.
It did not take us long to learn we needed a much larger ‘sandbox’ and a broader set of research and data skills added to the team. It was then that we decided to establish Carelon Research (formerly HealthCore): a company focused on solving the need for better evidence in decision-making in healthcare. Long before real-world evidence (RWE) was a part of the healthcare vernacular, we worked tirelessly to persuade the healthcare industry — providers, payers, life sciences companies, regulators and even patients — of the need to demand, fund, and utilize this research. It was not easy, and we were fortunate to have the support of many who helped us survive those early years.
In 2003, we joined the Elevance Health family of companies with the charge to continue our mission to enhance the evidence base in healthcare and to transform the rich environment into a learning health ecosystem. With the backing of one of the largest healthcare corporations in the country, we have expanded our offerings, including adding the New England Research Institutes team to our organization in 2017.
Twenty-five years have passed since we set out on this journey and though there continues to be significant work ahead of us, the understanding of the need for RWE within the scientific and medical community is firmly rooted. Our mission to advance the derivation and utilization of RWE continues and we are excited about the future of RWE.
We are grateful to all our clients and collaborators who share a similar mission and vision — to all who are working together with us to help improve health outcomes and fill critical gaps in evidence. The collaborative nature of our relationships and our work with other organizations interested in solving these evidentiary challenges has allowed us to break down silos that exist within our U.S. healthcare delivery system, which has allowed us to accomplish a great deal of work during our first 25 years. We’ve reached across tables and stakeholder lines to inform and refine policies, programs, guidelines, best practices, and more for decision-makers and patients in the real world.
None of this would be possible without our exceptionally talented and dedicated associates, both past and present. We started this company with the help of a handful of people, many of whom are still with us today. All our associates contribute to a mission-focused culture of excellence and pride at Carelon Research that is both recognized and deeply valued by us and many others throughout our industry.
We’ve accomplished more than we ever imagined possible in 25 years, though we’re far from finished. Cheers to this 25th anniversary milestone and to all who helped us to get here!
Mark J. Cziraky
PharmD, CLS, FAHA, FNLA
President of Carelon Research