a1 Mario Negri Institute, Milan, Italy
a2 NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD), University of York, York, England
a3 Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), Leiden, The Netherlands
Health technology assessment (HTA) is primarily concerned with the consequences (benefits and costs) of health care and health policy decisions. Because decision making is complex and outcomes are often uncertain, it is helpful to attempt to assess the consequences. The quality of decisions can be improved by a process that provides a consistent framework for identifying and assessing health technologies.