COVID-19 pandemic fatigue has many people seeking a return to normalcy. But health care needs a new normal—one that achieves better health outcomes for more people. Wishing for a return to health care’s old normal is like driving into a long tunnel hoping for a U-turn that takes you back to where you started.
Multiple studies have shown that the U.S. spends more per capita on health care than any country in the world, yet it ranks poorly on health care access and outcomes compared to other high-income countries. Clearly, progress is needed so that more people can achieve better health.
Value-based health care starts from the perspective that the purpose of health care is to help individuals and families achieve better health. Health care value—the improvement in outcomes achieved for the money spent—is created when care improves a person’s health, and value is increased when that improvement is achieved less expensively.