Health policy makers around the world have long shown interest in the value created by health systems and this preoccupation will likely intensify in the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing global recession.

The European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies will host a session on Thursday, 19 November 2020 at 09.00-10.15 on their Policy Brief on value-based health care. During the workshop the speakers will argue that the existing contemporary approaches to value, such as that focusing on competing medical providers developed by Michael Porter in the USA, typically address the notion of value from the narrow viewpoint of certain actors in the system and/or focus on particular dimensions of value that are more relevant from their perspective. This lack of a more holistic approach, one that embraces the health system in its entirety, may detract from maximizing the total value the system could achieve.

The presenters will argue that the understanding of value should be consistent across all actors in the health system and aligned with the overarching goal of the societies – that of maximizing societal wellbeing. They will further argue that this alignment can be ensured by effective governance of the whole health system.

Facilitated by Anna Sagan, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, the session will feature Nigel Edwards, Nuffield Trust England; Anna Krohwinkel, Leading Health Care Foundation; and Peter Smith, University of York and Imperial College Business School. During the workshop Peter Smith will present a new, holistic approach to value that unifies the perspectives of all actors in the system. Anna Krohwinkel will show, drawing on the Swedish experience, the practical difficulties in its implementation. Nigel Edwards will then discuss how the new approach could be implemented from the perspective of health care providers.

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