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Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2009 Spring;21(1):35-42. doi: 10.1053/j.semtcvs.2009.03.003.

Creating a high-value delivery system for health care.

Author information

  • 1Darden Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903, USA. eot3f@virginia.edu


Health care reform that focuses on improving value enhances both the well-being of patients and the professional satisfaction of physicians. Value in health care is the improvement in health outcomes achieved for patients relative to the money spent. Dramatic and ongoing improvement in the value of health care delivered will require fundamental restructuring of the system. Current efforts to improve safety and reduce waste are truly important but not sufficient. The following three structural changes will drive simultaneous improvement in outcomes and efficiency: (1) reorganizing care delivery into clinically integrated teams defined by patient needs over the full cycle of care; (2) measuring and reporting patient outcomes by clinical teams, across the cycle of care and for identified clusters of medical circumstances; and (3) enabling reimbursement tied to value rather than to quantity of services. Many of these changes require physician leadership. We discuss steps on the journey to value-based care delivery.

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