Digital Salutem
09 October 2017

What Can You Expect From Value Based Healthcare?

By João Bocas


Value Based Healthcare is essential for digital health. Healthcare cost comprise approximately 10% of the worlds GDP. For some Western countries, such as the US, this percentage is even higher, about 18%. Through the ageing population and growing demands and needs healthcare cost continue to rise, outpacing growth of household and national incomes.

This unsustainable growth in cost is one of the biggest challenges of this age. Worldwide political conversations are dominated and polarized by it. How are we going to pay for it, Who is going to pay for it and how do we make the healthcare system future proof? These questions are at the centre of the discussion and still in need for an answer.

One of the answers may be the Value Based Healthcare (VBHC) approach. The current system strives for high quantity, simply put, the more patients you cure the more money you receive. This results in a fragmented healthcare system with health providers unwilling to work together.


The VBHC approach however does not strive to minimize cost or maximise quantity, it strives to maximise the value of care. This is defined as patient outcomes divided by the costs. Worldwide leading healthcare systems are documenting and reporting variations in clinical practice and health outcomes. Therewith best practices can be identified by clinicians, whom could steer resources towards the clinical interventions which achieve the best results.

Through this focus on value, the value based healthcare approach delivers higher quality of patient outcomes for equal or lower cost, and could thus be part of the solution. However in order to deliver this promise and be able to make difficult decisions about the types of care and which pharmaceuticals can be offered with it, makes a scientific, detailed, evidence-based approach essential. Therefore some important steps need to be included in the process. For a VBHC approach one needs to have a detailed analysis of existing outcome date, best practices need to be identified and these then need to be widespread and shared amongst healthcare providers in order to reduce variations and improve the overall health outcomes.


This is why the healthcare providers cannot do it alone. They need help from the digital health industry. Healthcare providers generate enormous amounts of raw data but are often unable to analyses and order that data in the way that is needed for VBCH. In the business space of Digital Health by contrast, this is one of its main components and best practices. They could use their resources to generate the clinical, payment and quality insight which is required for the growth of value based digital health.

Thus, VBHC, choosing quality over quantity while minimizing cost, seems like a win/win for both the patients, healthcare providers and governments. The solutions are not all there yet, but they are coming and value based healthcare is a great example of one.


This article is based on – The Digital Mission of Healthcare: Value Based Care

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