Innovation forum urges healthcare providers to make value top priority

Healthcare leaders must focus on value to overcome concerns that healthcare costs outweigh quality, researchers from Harvard University's Forum on Healthcare Innovation conclude in a new report (.pdf), "5 Imperatives: Addressing Healthcare's Innovation Challenge."

Is a profitable hospital company "profitable because they've figured out how to offer high quality care at low cost … (or) because they've figured out that specific types of procedures tend to be reimbursed very well by insurance companies, and they've set themselves up to do a lot of those particular procedures?" Robert S. Huckman, forum steering committee member, asks in a Harvard-produced article describing the findings.

The five imperatives are:

  • Making value the central objective
  • Promoting novel approaches to process improvement
  • Making consumerism really work
  • Decentralizing approaches to problem solving
  • Integrating new approaches into established organization

The five imperatives will serve as a baseline for future Forum on Healthcare Innovation research and recommendations, according to the article.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the United States ranks last among Britain, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand for improving healthcare outcomes, despite higher healthcare spending.

The study looked at measures of health outcomes including death rates, diminished function and quality of life.

"Despite a level of health expenditures that would have seemed unthinkable a generation ago, the health of the U.S. population has improved only gradually and has fallen behind the pace of progress in many other wealthy nations," the Institute of Medicine's Harvey V. Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D., wrote in an accompanying editorial.

For more:
-download the Harvard report (.pdf)
-read the article
-here's the JAMA study

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