The Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER)

The Lewin Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research manages, conducts, interprets and supports the use of comparative effectiveness research (CER) to inform decisions that help achieve the most effective patient outcomes, health care policies and deployment of health care resources. We provide data-driven, evidence-based policy recommendations and decision support for clients who conduct CER or wish to implement its findings.


The CER team brings a unique blend of quantitative and qualitative expertise to assist clients with a wide variety of health care research. We have access to data assets and tools, including one of the largest private-sector administrative claims databases, which provide versatility, breadth and depth to our research and consulting services. Our team offers deep experience across a wide variety of research modalities, including sophisticated evaluation methods, analysis of evidence and modeling techniques, which enables us to provide insightful comparative effectiveness research that can drive higher quality care.


We work with governments, academic institutions, associations and the private sector to establish CER programs, design and facilitate appropriately conducted research, communicate CER findings and provide access to data sets and related real-world evidence required for sound CER programs.

Our services include:

Evidence-based Research and Analysis

  • Develop evidence-based clinical practice guidelines
  • Systematic evidence reviews
  • In-depth policy research and analysis including white papers, policy briefs and case-studies
  • Application of rigorous appraisal methodologies to inform clinical best-practices,health technology assessment, and health care decision-making
  • Convene technical expert panels, work group facilitation and panel moderation

Data Assets and Analytics

  • Data assets
    • 70 million unique U.S. lives with eligibility and medical data
    • Tens of millions of unique U.S. lives with pharmacy and lab results data
    • National clinical data set of EMR/EHR records covering more than 30
      million lives from diverse medical groups and integrated delivery systems
    • Longitudinal de-identified datasets that capture medical, drug,
      behavioral health, eligibility, disability and workers’ compensation data. Subsets of archived data from 1998 forward
  • Data analytics
    • Develop decision models to simulate the potential impact of various
      changes in health care, such as drug and medical product development,
      insurance cost, coverage impacts and health workforce policies
    • Claims data analysis to observe geographic variations in health care
      spending, quality and resource use
    • Construct frameworks to identify, assess and prioritize interventions to
      address unmet clinical needs
    • Design process and outcome program evaluations
    • Develop performance measures
    • Contruct survey, interview and other data collection instruments

Program Evaluation

  • Design process and outcome program evaluations
  • Develop performance measures
  • Construct survey, interview and other data collection instruments

 See the full list of Lewin services
 See all Comparative Effectiveness publications


We perform qualitative and quantitative research and evaluation studies in multiple areas, leveraging our in-depth experience to help federal and private sector clients develop evidence-based recommendations and policy decisions. These and other efforts across Lewin practice areas and in collaboration with Optum contribute to thought leadership on critical CER and health care issues. This results in a better identification and adoption of best practices, improved policies and programs, and understanding of the impact of various health care interventions.

"Throughout the engagement, Lewin consultants listened to us and delivered superb analyses and thoughtful guidance–not canned solutions.