This article aims to explore overlaps and differences between the emerging concept of value-based healthcare (VBHC) and the established field of cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA), as well as the feasibility of integrating them together. Interest in VBHC has grown significantly in developed countries that seek to preserve the sustainability of their healthcare systems. Consequently, it is likely that VBHC will soon play a meaningful role in health economic policy and decision making. Because VBHC and CEA share many similarities, academics have pointed out that integration could lead to opportunities for improvements in both fields.
An exploration of overlapping topics in VBHC and CEA literature was performed to establish initial links between them. A new methodologic approach is described to consolidate key value frameworks from the respective fields.
Several key themes emerged in which these 2 concepts can reinforce each other: interpretation of value, sensitivity to outcome changes, scientific credibility, methodology and measurement, and usability in decision making. Subsequently, an initial method is described of how the VBHC framework for value could be integrated into CEA through a so-called value-based healthcare quality-adjusted life year (VBHC-QALY).
This article introduces the existing VBHC value framework to the cornerstone of modern CEA and substantiates the presumption of health economists that valuable synergies arise from consolidating the individual strengths of CEA and VBHC. Through integration CEA can help establish robust methods for VBHC implementation, while the latter can complement the former with a new viewpoint and conceptual toolbox for patient centricity and the definition of value.
Jelle Walraven Maartje S. Jacobs Carin A. Uyl-de Groot