Health Tech Reads: Nathan Tierney: Value Management in Healthcare

This week HealthTechReads was able to read a book where the proceeds are donated to veteran care. It was about Value Management in Healthcare by Nathan Tierney. You can get your copy of the book HERE

Elizabeth Barrett summarized the experience:

Nathan Tierney’s book, Value Management in Healthcare: How to Establish a Value Management Office to Support Value-Based Outcomes in Healthcare, is at once a thorough examination of the value-based care model and a guide for its realistic implementation within a Health Delivery Organization (HDO). Tierney outlines the key pillars of the value-based care paradigm and the care improvements it promises to deliver. He goes on to examine the current iteration of the value-based model, pointing to areas that need rethinking and improvement (per Tierney, outcomes and their value need to be the at the forefront of VBC). At first glance, his book may seem like one more intellectual/author’s foray into well tread territory. It is not. The book sets itself apart from that canon of healthcare literature. What makes it a standout is that it bridges the gap between concept and reality.

Tierney’s approach to the subject at hand is no doubt informed by his professional background: leading strategy and execution of business process reengineering/improvement and value management (across multiple sectors). His book lays out a detailed and nuanced instructions manual for HDOs in the transition from fee-for-service model to a fully phased VBC model. His lays out, with great nuance and detail, the systemic, managerial, and methodological processes necessary for a HDO’s successful implementation of a VBC model.  Here again, Tierney highlights the importance of outcomes, and of outcome-driven program design. High value outcomes should be the measure of success for a value-based HDO. 

The book goes on to present a thoughtful analysis of two ubiquitous but ill-defined terms central to the discourse around VBC. Tierney expounds precise, objective, and quantifiable definitions of both “value” and “outcome.” A standard way to define and measure outcomes and their value is the only way HDOs and their stakeholders can be assured of their value-based model’s level of success. More importantly, patients have the right to access provider outcomes and their value (driven by data transparency and measured against a standardized scale). Transparency in these areas will enable patients to make more informed decisions when choosing their medical care. And this type of patient empowerment, Tierney asserts, will translate to greater success for value based HDOs. 

Tierney’s book gives prominence to issues that are too often glossed over in the canon of value-based care rhetoric. These key issues catalyzed a very compelling conversation at this week’s @HealthTechReads book club. As an added bonus, the author himself joined the conversation offering answers, questions, and insights. 

-Lizzie B