We Can Manage What We Can Measure
| Jul 3, 2014 1:00 AM
Recent headlines about health care costs via Bloomberg and Modern Healthcare indicate that health care costs in the United States are set to grow to 20% of our GDP in the coming years. With a rise in the number of our insured population, new and expensive specialty drugs entering the market, and the baby boomer generation “getting on” in years, among others, the market is putting greater demands on health care systems around the nation.
Leaders in health care need to get a handle on the future now more than ever.
One of the most effective levers I’m convinced we can pull to reform our systems—and start delivering value over volume—is around knowing our value. This means knowing not only our outcomes, but also knowing our costs. Outcomes and quality measures continue to proliferate. On the other hand, the lack of knowledge hospitals and health care systems have about what it costs them to deliver care is nothing short of astounding. Often it seems children running lemonade stands know more about their business expenses than multi-billion dollar health care delivery systems do.
The system wasn’t built to know its costs. Health care has (dis)functioned for decades on a model that rewards more—the more providers and hospitals do, the more we are reimbursed. The time is past due that we are rewarded for value. This is the principle that inspired us to develop the value-driven outcomes tool. This tool is built on data, best practices and constant improvement, and gives our providers the ability to know the true costs of the care they deliver. We can now interrogate our practices by quality and outcomes against costs, on the road to delivering value.
Julie Appleby, from Kaiser Health News, recently summarized this effort in a USA Today article.
The time has come to spread the word, to measure the costs of our care delivery, to assess our outcomes in the context of the costs required to achieve them, and to manage our health care system with the efficiency and effectiveness our country and our patients deserve.
Read the entire USA Today article here.
Author: Vivian S. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A.
About the Author: Dr. Vivian S. Lee is the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences at the University of Utah, Dean of the University of Utah School of Medicine, and CEO of University of Utah Health Care. Read her full bio herecomments powered by Disqus