A method for defining value in healthcare using cancer care as a model

J Healthc Manag. 2010 Nov-Dec;55(6):399-411; discussion 411-2.


Value-based healthcare delivery is being discussed in a variety of healthcare forums. This concept is of great importance in the reform of the US healthcare delivery system. Defining and applying the principles of value-based competition in healthcare delivery models will permit future evaluation of various delivery applications. However, there are relatively few examples of how to apply these principles to an existing care delivery system. In this article, we describe an approach for assessing the value created when treating cancer patients in a multidisciplinary care setting within a comprehensive cancer center. We describe the analysis of a multidisciplinary care center that treats head and neck cancers, and we attempt to examine how this center integrates with Porter and Teisberg's (2006) concept of value-based competition based on the results analysis. Using the relationship between outcomes and costs as the definition of value, we developed a methodology to analyze proposed outcomes for a population of patients treated using a multidisciplinary approach, and we matched those outcomes to the costs of the care provided. We present this work as a model for defining value for a subset of patients undergoing active treatment. The method can be applied not only to head and neck treatments, but to other modalities as well. Public reporting of this type of data for a variety of conditions can lead to improved competition in the healthcare marketplace and, as a result, improve outcomes and decrease health expenditures.

MeSH terms

  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / economics*