Most of us remember management buzzwords such as “synergy” and “win-win” that generated a lot of excitement—fast—and then fell out of favor as people started looking for the next big thing. This can happen to buzzwords that are short on substance. Often, though, words just lose meaning with overuse, as “cloud computing” is on the verge of doing now. We need to make sure that value—the concept that has emerged as a guiding principle for transformation in healthcare—is not dismissed as just another buzzword.
Since the Healthcare Financial Management Association began researching value in 2010, we have witnessed the development of a broad consensus on the significance of the value transformation. Thought leaders in a wide array of public and private settings—associations, think tanks and government agencies, to name a few—have reached similar conclusions about the shift from volume to value. Healthcare and health insurance have grown increasingly difficult for consumers and employers to afford. In the absence of fundamental changes, the future holds more of the same. Healthcare expenditures under our volume-based payment system have long been projected to increase at unsustainable rates.