A new collaboration between the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and Harvard Business School's (HBS) Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness aims to improve healthcare value. The initiative's ultimate objective is to develop a tool that hospitals can use to better measure quality and cost of care delivery. 


Officials from both organisations, recognised as global leaders in quality and cost measurement, announced the initiative during a recent forum held on Capitol Hill. The event discussed the challenges the American health system faces as it moves from volume to value-based payment models, and the new care models that healthsystems must adopt.

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The new initiative, called ACS THRIVE (Transforming Healthcare Resources to Increase Value and Efficiency), is intended to help hospitals and surgical practices improve patient outcomes while lowering the cost of delivering care.


“As the patient caremodel continues to evolve, we must place a premium on providing the utmost quality and efficiency in our hospitals," according to David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, Executive Director of the American College of Surgeons, adding that ACS THRIVE "will help hospitals identify clear opportunities to do that.”


Surgical care, as noted by Dr. Frank G. Opelka, FACS, Medical Director, ACS Quality and Health Policy, is more than just the operative procedure. Surgical care is delivered starting in the preoperative phase – including anaesthesia, nursing care and medical specialities – and the process continues through to postoperative rehabilitation. Optimising each phase of care is important in order to “provide the best outcomes for patients and meet their goals," Dr. Opelka said.    

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Initially, ACS THRIVE's value-measurement process will be piloted in 10-15 hospitals across the U.S. The programme will focus on measuring the full cycle of care – including its key surgical, medical, behavioural and social elements – for three surgical conditions. Results from the pilot will be used to create a scalable approach that all hospitals can use to measure and improve value. In addition, the method will include risk-adjusted benchmarks, so hospitals can compare their value with one another to generate system-wide improvement.  


Under the programme, high-value providers will be recognised, while those with opportunities for improvement can learn from the best practices of the high-value hospitals and health systems. 


"We believe the value-based healthcare approach will expand the definition of quality and will improve transparency, both of which are essential to delivering truly patient-centred care," said Mary L. Witkowski, MD, MBA, Fellow, HBS Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness. "With better understanding of their quality and costs, health systems, accountable care organisations and surgical practices will then be able to improve the value they deliver to patients and increase access to care." 


Source: American College of Surgeons
Image credit: iStock


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American College of Surgeons, cost measurement, patient-centred care, value-based payment models, American health system, Value Based Transition Healthcare Systems, Harvard Business School, healthcare value, behavioural and social elements A new collaboration between the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and Harvard Business School's (HBS) Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness aims to improve healthcare value.