Is qualitative care still a utopia?

Imagine a health system that awards qualitative instead of just quantitative results. Let’s imagine a system where patients’ satisfaction and care quality come first, and costs come second. All of this is not just a utopia anymore, but an achievable reality through the application of value-based healthcare.

Value-based healthcare is a delivery model in which providers are paid based on the quality of their services and patient health outcomes (e.g. for helping patients improving their health, reducing the incidence of chronic disease, and living healthier lives in an evidence-based way). This model differs from those using capitated budgets, in which providers are paid based on the number of patients they have. Value-based healthcare is a cost-effective solution for the system because it creates incentives for health care providers to offer the best care at the lowest cost, resulting in savings in healthcare budget; patients receiving more value for money, and leading to increased patients’ quality of care and satisfaction.

Between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years old is expected to nearly double (from 12% to 22%), rising from 900 million in 2015 to two billion (WHO, 2018). Healthcare costs are soaring as the world’s population ages, while health budgets struggle to keep up. Therefore, a value-based and cost-effective solution is needed to address the issue. Healthcare managers play a key role in translating this debate in actual change for patients. The question is, how can they facilitate the implementation? 

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References:

WHO (2018) Ageing and health. [online] Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ageing-and-health  (Accessed: 05 August 2020)

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