The pressures for fundamental change in health care have been building for decades, but meaningful change has been limited while the urgency of change only grows. The moment of discontinuity has arrived. Already unsustainable costs, an aging population, advances in medicine, and a growing proportion of patients in low reimbursement government programs have made the status quo unsustainable. Change is inevitable.
There is only one real solution, which is to dramatically increase the value of health care. Value is the outcomes achieved for patients relative to the money spent. Without major improvements in value, services will need to be restricted, the incomes of health care professionals will fall, and patients will be asked to pay even more.
In our October Harvard Business Review article “The Strategy That Will Fix Health Care”we describe the strategic agenda that is necessary to create a high value health care delivery system. We believe that there is no longer any doubt about how to increase the value of care. The question is whether providers can make the necessary changes.
Why has it been so hard for health care organizations to improve outcomes and efficiency, despite their best intentions? With so many good, smart people working so hard? With patients’ needs so obvious and so compelling? And with such deep societal concerns about health care spending? The...
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