The U.S. healthcare landscape is rapidly being reshaped by a variety of economic, political, and socio-demographic forces.  While the issue of health insurance has dominated much of the national dialogue, most agree that changing the way that healthcare is delivered and paid for is needed to get to better care at lower cost.  As providers and payer organizations begin to experiment with new payment and delivery models, there is increasing focus on the principles of value-based care and how it can be implemented.

There are many different definitions for “value-based care,” but common goals include an emphasis on providing effective preventive care, improving care coordination, eliminating health disparities, and increasing transparency and accountability across the continuum.  When value-based care works well, use of acute care settings is reduced, total healthcare costs are lower, and “healthcare” means achieving healthy populations, not just delivering “sick care.”

However, getting to value-based care is not easy.  Such a fundamental transition requires organizations to make significant cultural changes, like: gaining alignment across clinical and administrative stakeholders; rethinking investments and planning; developing new analytic and reporting capabilities; and building infrastructure to support a new care delivery model.  This is daunting change, and leads many to feel overwhelmed, asking “where should we start?”

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