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Insights from the field: Are you an optimist or pessimist about the future of VBC?

By Sophia HurrClare Wirth

April 12, 2022

    In our research interviews (and most internal conversations) this year, we asked folks the following question: Are you an optimist or pessimist about the future of value-based care?

    Either is justified, but their reasons why were fascinating. What started as an icebreaker question became a thought-provoking way to get a pulse on VBC. So we kept asking it.

    Blog: The 2 words that get us in the most trouble with VBC

    Here are the two main themes and some of our favorite quotes.

    The road is long, but the industry has made real progress.

    "I'm an optimist because, candidly, we have to get there. While I haven't seen a meaningful bend to the cost curve yet, and what's been so far packaged as VBC may or may not truly be VBC, I've seen improvements in quality and patient experience. In terms of taking cost out of the system, it'll take a long path to get there."

    Dr. Wael Barsoum, HopCo

    "I'm realistic. It'll take a longer time than we expect it to—it won't happen overnight—but we are on that trajectory. I disagree in saying that the industry is stuck. It all depends on organization strategy: it's a strategic decision on whether or not you'll put yourself on a glide path and how fast you'll move."

    Maria Royce, WellSpan

    "I'm neither an optimist nor a pessimist – I'm just happy there's water in the glass. If I had to choose, I'd say optimist, as VBC has helped offset the delivery model structure and financing issues that were exacerbated by the pandemic. There's some evidence around financial risk components getting at some of the frustrations clinicians have about the hamster wheel, like too large panels or too little time spent with patients. My optimism comes from the changes that I've seen resulting from increased VBC.”

    Wes Campbell, Advisory Board

    Without dramatic changes, today's health care system will bankrupt us.

    "I'm an optimist – not necessarily because people believe in it, but because I think people will realize there's no other option. Resources are decreasing and pressure to deliver is increasing. We have to make tradeoffs, and I don't see how anything but VBC will help us do that.”

    Bec Richmond, Optum

    "There are a lot of tailwinds pushing us towards value, the biggest of which being how expensive things will remain if we don't move there. We've seen the results of existing VBC efforts positively impact the health of the patient and overall health care infrastructure.”

    Dr. Jason Scalise, HopCo


    Given how long the industry has been working towards value-based care, we were surprised by how many people still identify as optimists. That said, all were sure to note it was without illusions. They know this is a hard transition to make—otherwise we would have done it already.

    Are you an optimist or a pessimist about the future of VBC? We'd love to learn why. Email us at hurrs@advisory.com. 

    The 2 words that get us in the most trouble with VBC

    imageThe words "risk" and "demand destruction" are commonly used in value-based care.

    Advisory Board's Megan Clark and Wes Campbell what the terms mean and why those in the health care industry should be careful not to assume everyone has a shared definition.

    Read more

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