News

Contracting for outcomes: a brave new world or latest fad?

In anticipation of the next Cambridge Health Network (CHN) event organised by ZPB for Outcomes Based Healthcare (OBH), the OBH team give us an insight into the issues that will be discussed.

There is a definite air of excitement in the OBH office this week as we gear up to the official launch of the contracting paper written in association with Capsticks: Contracting for outcomes: a value-based approach.

As an organisation, everything we do is geared towards playing our part in helping improve outcomes that matter to people. Whether it is through advisory work, through education, or technology, absolutely everything is we do is about outcomes.

‘Outcomes’ is not a new word. But the way we think about them at OBH (underpinned by the work from Harvard Business School) feels a little different. The outcomes we like are those that are co-defined with people receiving care. This means the results of care. They are holistic and cut across entire care pathways, aligning interests around what matters to people. If the healthcare system wants to make things better for people, and achieve these outcomes, it has to look beyond organisational boundaries.

Perhaps easier said than done? With a structured approach, starting with appropriately ‘segmenting’ populations, defining and measuring outcomes, and implementing outcomes-driven service redesign, the question is not “could this work”, but rather “how do we make this work”?

This paper addresses exactly this question, with a special focus in the UK health economy. It draws on the practical experience of both OBH and Capsticks, and gives an in-depth analysis of the various contracting options and reimbursement mechanisms that can make commissioning on the basis of outcomes a reality. Real outcomes in real contracts that make a real difference to people, because the outcomes are designed by people receiving care and engage everyone involved in achieving them.

We’re really looking forward to hearing people’s thoughts on the challenges and solutions to making outcomes based contracts a reality in the UK.