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Realizing the Promise of Value-based Purchasing

Selling the Strategy Back Home

Even the best-designed purchasing strategies will not succeed if sufficient support for these initiatives and the commitment to provide the resources needed for their implementation cannot be secured from the key parties. Legislators are one key party that play a critical role in moving a value-based purchasing strategy forward, but this role can be hindered by ineffective communication with State health care agencies.

State agency representatives at the meeting proposed several ways to bridge this communication gap:

  • Invite legislators on key committees to meetings about value-based purchasing to keep them informed about new purchasing strategies.
  • Share examples of successful value-based purchasing initiatives that might "sell" the message—do not downplay smaller pilot projects that have worked.
  • Involve private sector purchasers in "selling the message" to legislators.

States also acknowledged challenges other than those involving legislators that impede their progress in implementing a value-based purchasing strategy. Specifically, States identified the need to:

  • Assess whether data currently being collected are useful for decisionmaking.
  • Gather more data on outcomes and quality to fill gaps.
  • Identify partners that can be enlisted on small, specific projects.
  • Continue dialoguing about purchasing objectives.

The State teams realized that they may begin to handle these needs through mechanisms such as:

  • Holding a State health summit to develop strategies with key players.
  • Identifying the health goals for the State's citizens.
  • Talking with agency heads who share similar work.

Some participants suggested that their State has had success pursuing an incremental strategy, rather than trying to do "too much too soon." One State began its own value-based initiative by first instituting a series of joint purchasing efforts around the treatment of children in addiction services, and in refinancing the behavioral health system for children. The success the State achieved was a result of tackling discreet pieces of the purchasing puzzle, rather than attempting widespread reform.

Current as of August 2001

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Internet Citation:

Realizing the Promise of Value-based Purchasing. Workshop Brief, December 11-13, 2000. User Liaison Program. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.

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