- Increase cooperation between different stakeholders and institutions.
- Breakdown health data silos - digitalization and use of data from the field need to be incorporated into the system.
- Review financing to empower patient organizations and also give hospitals "breathing room" to invest in new healthcare models.
- Don’t lose momentum - the COVID-19 crisis has given new impetus to healthcare reform, but we need to act now!
On February 24, AmCham Belgium in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Medical organized its fourth event under the Year of Healthcare umbrella, where we discussed the concept of value-based healthcare (VBHC) and why it is important in order to improve the sustainability and quality of our healthcare systems. VBHC challenges traditional healthcare models through a shift from volume to value: measuring the health outcomes delivered to patients, rather than the type or quantity of treatments. The event largely served as a call to action to all relevant stakeholders to join forces and work towards the concrete implementation of value-based healthcare in Belgium.
After a short introduction, the event featured a keynote by Jan-Philippe Beck, CEO, EIT Health, who outlined how EIT Health – a knowledge and innovation community of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology – aims to contribute to the implementation of value-based healthcare in the EU. In this context, he referenced the institute’s guidebook that offers a framework for success for those willing to embark on the journey of value-based healthcare, for instance through its High Value Care Forum which supports healthcare providers and professionals around Europe. Subsequently, Pieter Van Herck, Healthcare Advisor to Vincent Van Quickenborne, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice, highlighted current policy priorities of relevance to the topic at hand. These include, for example, a focus on integrated care, prevention, (transparency around) quality of care, health data policies, bundled payments, etc.
Following the keynote speeches, a panel discussion, moderated by Tineke Van hooland, Founder and CEO, epic10, took place between Stefan Gijssels, Co-founder, Patient Expert Center, Jo De Cock, Head, RIZIV/INAMI, Fabrice Degenève, Managing Director, Johnson & Johnson Medical Belux, Hadewig De Corte, CEO, Clinique St.-Jean, Brussels, and Désirée Vandenberghe, Healthcare Consultant, Möbius. The debate largely centered around the challenges and opportunities for value-based healthcare in Belgium. There was broad agreement that the current financing system is a major hurdle in that it is predominantly volume-driven. To address this challenge, Hadewig De Corte suggested freezing the financing for five years to create a safe environment for hospitals in which a new model could be explored.
Stefan Gijssels stressed the importance of investing more in prevention, particularly in early screening. In addition, he pointed out the variation in terms of outcomes between hospitals. In response, Désirée Vandenberghe highlighted Möbius’ dashboard for value-based healthcare. The latter visualizes the process, cost and quality of the care pathway for pathologies within a hospital, thereby allowing healthcare providers to engage in benchmarking.
In terms of accelerating value-based healthcare, the COVID-19 crisis was highlighted as an important lever. In addition, Jo De Cock referred to the EU health data space as a potential enabler to be capitalized upon in Belgium. He also saw the prospect of federal healthcare targets as a driver for change.
Fabrice Degenève closed the debate with an overview of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices’ mission and objectives in terms of value-based healthcare, for instance through relevant collaborations with external stakeholders (e.g. supporting hospitals in raising awareness about the importance of colon cancer screening).
All speakers agreed on the need for multi-stakeholder collaboration to make value-based healthcare a reality in Belgium. Moreover, they acknowledged that the patient should be at the center of this endeavor, having a strong voice in decision-making around healthcare. Finally, given the lengthy process required to implement value-based healthcare, it was recommended to draw up a roadmap with clear objectives for the next few years.
We look forward to leveraging the momentum created by the event to continue working on value-based healthcare with AmCham Belgium’s Innovative Healthcare Committee as well as with external stakeholders.
AmCham Belgium would like to thank Johnson & Johnson Medical for their collaboration on this event; Karin Cerri for opening the event; Tineke Van hooland for moderating; and all speakers for their insights into value-based healthcare.
About the author
Laura joined AmCham Belgium’s Innovative Healthcare Committee in 2018, where she is an active member of the Outreach Taskforce. Laura holds a PhD in Philosophy.