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What is 'value,' anyway? Help us find out.

By Madhavi KasinadhuniPamela Divack

August 26, 2019

    Value-based care. Fee-for-value. Value-based contracts.

    "Value" may be the most overused word in our health care lexicon today, but none of us agree on what it means. We still don't have a common definition or shared framework for truly assessing medical value in U.S. health care.

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    To many, the word means the right treatment, for the right patient, in the right setting, at the right time. Maybe you agree. But historical mistrust and competing incentives between the different niches of health care have impeded us.

    To break down industry barriers, Advisory Board is launching a research initiative on how health care leaders across the industry define and measure medical value.

    How do you prioritize value? Tell us in a 3-minute survey.

    We've spoken with more than 50 health care leaders from provider, payer, life sciences, patient, and technology organizations—but we're still looking for more. What are your priorities? What challenges do you face when you try to assess medical value? When we reviewed responses from our early respondents, we found five common categories (assuming traditional safety and clinical efficacy), and they're unlikely to surprise you:

    • Patient access;
    • Total cost of care (e.g., unit cost, medical administration cost);
    • Avoidable cost;
    • Patient, member, or customer experience; and
    • Societal benefit.

    However, each industry's weighting of a given category varies tremendously. I believe we can move past that, and I believe we can establish a common language to talk about value, qualitatively and quantitatively.

    Maybe it's not just a rubric or scoring guide. Maybe it's transparent data-sharing that can help us all evaluate new treatment options, design new studies, or generate better evidence. But whatever this collaboration looks like, it must break down the walls that separate us as colleagues in the health care industry.

    What do you think is the greatest opportunity to improve health care value in the next 12 to 18 months?

    As we continue our research, we want to know how you define and measure medical value—and how you might collaborate with others in health care to do so. Please take a short survey below:

    We'll use this data to inform some upcoming research. Participating gets you early access to the data, too. Have a lot of deep thoughts about value that you want to share? Feel free to email me at divackp@advisory.com.


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