Value-based care is a proven strategy for improving quality of care at lower cost – and is an approach UnitedHealth Group has supported for years. Now, two Harvard researchers have identified a third dimension to achieving value-based care – what they call “infrastructure support.”
For years, leading providers and payers relied on quality and spending-reduction incentives to lower costs and improve care. This strategy, value-based care (VBC), shifts the focus from the number of tests or procedures performed to actual outcomes.
Dr. Alyna Chien of Harvard Medical School and Professor Meredith Rosenthal of the Harvard School of Public Health wanted to better understand how VBC works and they reviewed 10 years’ worth of VBC programs. Their report, “A 3D Model for Value-based Care,” identified infrastructure support as the missing third dimension that accompanies quality and spending-reduction incentives.
Chien and Rosenthal identified six types of infrastructure support and how often VBC programs use them:
In interviews with 24 leading VBC providers for the study, five themes emerged for the next generation of VBC:
Based on their research, Chien and Rosenthal make five recommendations to help care providers and payers accelerate the impact and adoption of value-based programs:
“The findings of this research affirm our sense that, as an industry, we make the greatest progress when we work in true partnership with care providers and always keep the patient experience at the center of everything we do,” said Dr. Lewis Sandy, EVP, Clinical Advancement, UnitedHealth Group. “Harvard’s recommendations set out a shared agenda for the future of VBC program design that will inform and shape our own efforts.”