Comments
Healthcare's Big Challenge: How To Measure Value
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Belinda904
50%
50%
Belinda904,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/26/2014 | 8:16:00 PM
Inadequate patchwork...
These improvements to the so-called healthcare system, by shifting care from fees to value, is both superficial and profoundly misguided. It's fixing a fundamentally broken system on its surface. That is, the US healthcare system is in actuality a diseasecare system where almost all economic resources are spent on treatment and management of disease instead of its prevention. It causes enormous wastes of money and human suffering and carnage.  An example of this is the cancer industry where the war on cancer is predominantly a highly profitable business venture that needs to be maintained no matter what the facts are (google/bing "A Mammogram Letter The British Medical Journal Censored"). You can't make significant changes to a self-regulating, self-serving business that is  both sustained and enabled by the management of disease.
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
6/25/2014 | 3:56:48 PM
Re: Big health-data
I agree with you Li Tan, healthcare does not need measuring its value, what is needed is to draw the necessary information from the data obtained. This helps in curtailing a lot of spending by measuring the value of healthcare and channeling this money in bettering the healthcare of people. Efficient use of resources helps a lot since it helps in actually achieving the desired goal which is bettering the healthcare system in the country.
Alison_Diana
50%
50%
Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
6/25/2014 | 10:35:15 AM
Re: Big health data
@SachinEE: I believe we can measure value, to a point. For example, healthcare organizations are beginning to measure whether certain people who have back surgery live better-quality lives than people who have physical therapy and other treatments after six months. The measurement here is in the quality of life. Personally, I've known people who have had back surgery: In one case, he would have been crippled because the surgeon discovered a severed nerve and something as minor as a sneeze could have caused him to become paralyzed. In several other cases, back surgery didn't do anything to relieve my friends' pain. They seem to still be on the same pain-relieving medications, still need P/T, and actually ache more when it rains because of the incisions. That's one kind of value measure. Another might have to do with medical tests: Do all patients who get MRIs REALLY need these tests or is it a CYA or typical next-step doctors recommend for no clear-cut medical reason? In some cases, that could well be the case and healthcare systems are investigating which instances demand MRIs (for example) and in which cases an MRI is unnecessary.
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
6/25/2014 | 6:22:30 AM
Re: Big health data
The big question is can we really measure the value of the health data? Every one has a right to health services and they should affordable. Health is a very sensitive issue that needs to be addressed. It is good that they are planning on improving the nation's health care system as this will help in saving the lives of many sick patients. The health care providers should concentrate on the value of the health care as opposed to the fees that are meant to be incurred.
Alison_Diana
50%
50%
Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
6/9/2014 | 9:51:42 AM
Re: Market-based Health Decisions
I am not sure, but think both sides of the political equation agree US healthcare costs are too high. The Washington Post wrote an article including 21 graphs comparing the costs of various treatments in the US against their counterparts in other countries. For example, in 2012 the cost of an average physician visit in the US was $68 to $126; $30 in Canada. Hip replacement in the US cost between about $25K to $88K in 2012 (hospital and physician) vs. about $12K in UK, $28K in Australia. You get the idea...!

That said, I don't know how the costs of medical school differ. Nor have i seen arguments about how much some of the more expensive hospitals/research schools put back into research initiatives. That's the age-old argument, of course. Seems there must be some kind of balance somewhere. 

IMHO, the move to measure value is important. I think most of us know someone who's had unnecessary treatments, surgeries, or tests. Just because a provider can perform a test or operation, doesn't always mean it's the right thing to do. OTOH, we have to be careful that beancounters aren't put in charge of healthcare. Do we really want accountants or actuaries deciding whether Grandma has the 'right' to a hip replacement? It's a very tricky area, morally and ethically.
LUFU
50%
50%
LUFU,
User Rank: Strategist
6/7/2014 | 5:24:14 PM
Market-based Health Decisions
Much of the debate and demagoguery over ACA has included an underlying premise that the market is a driving force to reduce healthcare costs. Whether correct or not, without an accurate means to transparently measure healthcare results then market forces falter.
Alison_Diana
50%
50%
Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
6/6/2014 | 9:46:38 AM
Re: Big health-data
They're related, no, @Li? Healthcare organizations (and payers) want to measure the value of treatments to determine whether one approach is better than another in a set of circumstances, using analytics and big data to track and analyze those circumstances and results.

So, in the case of knee replacement, not all patients who are recommended to get their knee replaced actually should have the surgery. In some cases, they may need to lose weight and/or exercise more. In some, their quality of life will not improve with a new knee. In some, knee replacement will vastly enhance their lives. Using analytics and big data to track and analyze the wide array of datapoints, providers and payers then can measure the value of these treatments based on patients' situations/symptoms, etc. I FIRMLY believe the ultimate decision should lie with the patient and his/her doctor, but opening patients' eyes to the fact that surgery is not a cure-all is vital -- as Dartmouth plans to do (shown in this article). I've seen a lot of people who had needless back surgery. They had the same (or even more) pain as before the operation, still require several medications to control swelling/pain, and continue to do physical therapy, stretches, etc., so it's hard to see whether there was any benefit. I've got a handful of friends, otoh, who had back surgery and their lives improved dramatically, including someone who had a severed nerve casing and who could have become paralyzed by a mere sneeze. It's easy to measure the value for him!
Li Tan
100%
0%
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
6/6/2014 | 1:55:52 AM
Big health-data
The major point of healthcare is not measuing value itself but to draw valuable conclusion from it. It's not about data gethering/value measuring but big data analytics. Can we transform smoothly from value measuring to health wisdom and accurate diagnostics?


Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.