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About Value-Based Healthcare

When googling value-based health care definition you get about 6 million results. The oldest reference on the first page is from 2010, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine. But the topic is a bit older than that. The today influential network value-based health care center Europe has its beginnings in 2008 and was formed by healthcare and academic professionals. Its mission is to bring stakeholders together to have a common platform for discussing value-based health care (VBHC).

So what is value-based healthcare?

To put it simple, VBHC is about the value and outcome of a treatment for the patient. And the claim to reimburse the value of a treatment, not the number of prescriptions or visits to the doctor or hospital.

It is about the outcome for the patient. Outcome should define efficiency not how much costs can be saved with a single treatment option. This will benefit the health of patients and its sustainability.

The stakeholders when talking about health care include patients and their families, doctors, policy-makers and health insurers.


A pushing factor to achieve more efficiency is the need of governments to save money where they can. If a more sustainable treatment is preferred for reimbursement, health costs are expected to decrease.

In Europe, the health care systems and reimbursement schemes vary a lot. Also the expectations towards the function and extent of a social security system, are not an ideal basis to establish VBHC on a cross-border level.

Patient Outcome

To be able to better assess patient outcome there have been established advanced systems through official committees and rights of health insurance associations. A central part of this is the health technology assessment (HTA), a document describing efficacy, safety and cost for treatment. But there is no consensus which treatments or drugs should be compensated how.

The Economist concluded in an early 2016 article the following about the status quo of value-based health care:

  • Measures for cost efficiency slowly become effective, but remain controversial
  • HTAs have the potential to cooperate on a cross-border level, which will need much better use of data
  • Industry and government have to work together more closely to develop new innovative pricing models

As Market Access is one of our core competencies, please get in touch with us, if you are a freelancer for these topics or if you need temporary help with Market Access, Health Economics & Outcomes Research, Value Dossier Writing, Pricing & Reimbursement.

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