How value-based health care can work in Australia

| August 8, 2019

It was a pleasure to participate in the Australia’s Health 2040 Taskforce convened by Global Access Partners, and to contribute to its final report, Ensuring the Sustainability of the Australian Health System.

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association supports Health 2040’s proposals to shift the focus in the Australian health system from volume to value.

Value-based healthcare is not necessarily about saving money, although it may well do so in many situations—it is about achieving better outcomes that matter to patients and getting better value for every public dollar spent.

Sustained cultural change and cooperation across sectors will be required, along with redesigned funding and workforce models, measures of performance and outcomes, accountability and governance.

We believe Australia must accept these challenges and put aside the vested interests that are increasingly proving a barrier to a sustainable, quality health system where all Australians can aspire to good health.

Health systems around the world have been exploring how to re-orient health service delivery to provide improved patient outcomes, often while reducing the overall cost of delivery.

For example, team-based care models with professionals working at the top of their licence may offer more effective, timelier and better value care than traditional care systems.

Over 18 months ago we released our own health system reform blueprint, Healthy people, healthy systems, with recommendations on how to re-orient the system to focus on patient outcomes and value. Many of those recommendations have since been taken up by governments and others.

On 2 September 2019 we will be holding an AHHA Blueprint Refresh Roundtable in Brisbane. We will bring together our members and other Australian health leaders to evaluate the progress made to date against Healthy people, healthy systems, and tease out key policy issues that need to be addressed to further implement outcomes-focused, value-based care in Australia.

The recommendations of the Ensuring the Sustainability of the Australian Health System report will be very much part of those discussions.

We are pleased to join innovative organisations from around Australia in embarking on the value-based health care journey.