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Taking the Heat out of the Value Debate by Focusing on Outcomes: Our Generation’s Plea to Make Health Great Again!

With 20% of healthcare spending estimated to be wasted on ineffective interventions at a time of limited resources and increased demand for medical innovation and services, the efficiency of EU healthcare systems must be challenged.

How? By focusing on value: getting the best possible outcomes at the best possible cost. While this seems to be a no-brainer for the vast majority of stakeholders investing considerable resources in shaping holistic, value-based models, reaching a common definition of value and putting this into practice remain challenging. One could reasonably observe that the lingering distrust among stakeholders undermines our systems’ ability to align and invest in sustainable solutions. I would argue that the healthcare community has not either been sufficiently focusing on the prerequisites for a balanced, constructive debate on the value of innovation.

As Chair of the European Health Parliament’s (EHP) Committee on Outcomes-Based Healthcare, I represent a multi-disciplinary group of young leaders who firmly believe that the foundational step towards value-based healthcare is to build outcomes-driven healthcare systems. Improving outcomes, defined as what matters most to patients, from functional improvement to the ability to live normal and productive lives, should become the guiding principle for innovation and value assessments.

While pioneering initiatives are emerging to standardize health data sets and indicators, EU Member States still face significant challenges in the collection, assessment and use of health and outcomes data. To drive the transition towards outcomes-based healthcare, the EHP recommends the European Commission and stakeholders to join forces to:

  • Launch a multi-stakeholder Expert Group, which will drive political momentum, collect recommendations, and incentivize and empower Member States by developing an EU-wide repository of existing initiatives improving patient outcomes and developing country-specific guidance to Member States on how to adopt such indicators and standards; and,
  • Boost the collection of patient outcomes data by ensuring that PROs questionnaires are co-created with patients, fostering the inclusion of PROs and quality of life indicators in clinical trials and value assessments, and expanding the collection and use of Real World Evidence (RWE).

I believe the highly innovative medical device industry should foster its contribution to standardizing and leveraging outcomes, building on its unique expertise in value-based procurement (MEAT)!

 

Thomas Gelin

Chair – Committee on Outcomes-Based Healthcare Systems, European Health Parliament 

Senior Consultant – Healthcare, Porter Novelli Brussels