About a year ago I had an informal meeting with several CEO acquaintances. One worked with a large provider organization, one was from a major life sciences company, and the third was with a health care consulting firm. The conversation turned to the vast transformation occurring in the health care industry. This gets characterized in short hand as the movement towards outcomes and value and we all voiced frustration that describing it this way trivializes what is really an extraordinary seismic shift in thinking. We also concluded that while it was easy to express an idealized endpoint as “outcomes and value”, if we each talked to twenty people we’d end up with eighty definitions of what this really meant and how it would be measured. Finally, we concluded that it was difficult to predict the timing or the route the industry would take to reach this nirvana and that we were only somewhere at the beginning of this journey, despite the hype and noise around it.
We were all struck that the industry is beginning to have the expectation that we will express a value proposition for our products and services measured by better patient outcomes relative to cost. While this expectation is growing, we are all of having difficulty finding resources with the appropriate training in both health care and economics that would equip them to do the hardcore analysis necessary to inform these kinds of propositions.