Prioritizing patient needs topped the agenda at last month’s Value in Healthcare Initiative meeting, hosted by the Center for Total Health. Launched earlier this year, the Initiative is a collaboration between the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. Its aim is to increase access to and affordability of cardiovascular care for the 85.6 million Americans living with cardiovascular diseases —a broad term that includes heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, arrhythmia and heart valve problems.
Convened by researchers, regulators and innovators, the meeting led with patient survey results that can help to transform cardiovascular care.
Larry Sadwin, former chairman of the AHA Board of Directors, and AHA Patient Ambassadors spoke personally about how cardiovascular patients define “value” when assessing health care services.
“Add the secret sauce of patient engagement and it may be magical,” Sadwin said.
Cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of preventable death worldwide, despite medical advancements in prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Annual mortality rates are likely to increase to over 23.6 million by 2030, if issues like high drug-pricing, poverty and health disparities are not addressed.
Dr. Mark McClellan, founding director of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, and his colleagues shared charts and graphs to demonstrate the “urgent challenges in cardiovascular diseases” as inspiration for reports the Initiative intends to develop and publish.
Following the presentations, participants attended breakout sessions focused on four “Learning Collaborative” areas:
- Implementing value-based payment models
- Partnering with regulators
- Developing predict and prevent models
- Transforming prior authorization
Also in attendance was Alex M. Azar II, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, who shared his vision for a system that promotes value, affordability and innovation. Secretary Azar proposed a four-pronged approach for driving toward value: Making patients empowered consumers, holding providers accountable as navigators of the health system, paying for outcomes, and preventing disease.
“Initiatives like this one are vital because it’s so important to put some real meat on the bones of mantras like ‘value-based care,’” he said. “The outcome we’re aiming for is pretty simple: Better healthcare at lower prices.”
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