The Health Cluster Portugal (HCP) project, Value-Based Healthcare in Cataract Surgery (VBHCAT) was distinguished by the World Economic Forum’s Global Coalition for Value in Healthcare as a Global Innovation Hub. This distinction is awarded to the most advanced and impactful initiatives in the world that demonstrate leadership in the implementation of value-based healthcare models.
The world will spend an estimated $25 trillion a year on healthcare by 2040. This will represent a massive 150% increase since 2014 and will affect every region of the globe.
A coordinated global effort to create a more sustainable and equitable health sector through the transition to value-based systems is necessary for societies to prosper. The value-based healthcare system is about continuously improving the relationship between outcomes and costs, essential to ensure long-term sustainability and better health outcomes for patients.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Coalition for Value in Healthcare has considered the VBHCAT project, under development by HCP, to be so innovative and distinctive that it can be replicated in other countries, with significant impacts on patients, giving them more information and, to that extent, giving them the opportunity to make well-informed choices regarding their healthcare.
Under this assumption, the Health Cluster Portugal project was invited to actively engage with the Global Innovation Hub for Value in Healthcare community for at least 2 years, with the aim of leveraging the platform and optimising the continuous improvement of value-based healthcare implementation.
The first annual report (2020) of the VBHCAT project has recently been released, which presents the assessment results of the impact of cataract surgery on more than 11,000 patients in 13 national hospitals (public and private), as well as the steps on a strategy to rationalise costs while maintaining the quality of care from the patient's perspective.
Global Innovation Hub for Value in Healthcare, which now includes the Portuguese project, is a community that brings together the world's best practices that will serve as a lever toward the transition from current production-based healthcare payment models to future value-based models.
Joana Feijó, Business Director of Health Cluster Portugal, and responsible for the project said: "We are very proud of this recognition and it shows that we are on the right path towards adding value to Health in Portugal by placing the citizen/patient at the centre of the system."
The project in Portugal is aimed at creating a rigorous and credible evaluation system in cataract surgery, focusing on the health results obtained, namely from the patient's point of view, promoting a culture of continuous improvement in a high-volume surgery with a high impact on the patient's quality of life and on NHS costs.
It will thus serve as a reference to a clinical practice of excellence, with continuous information for clinicians and the population in general, allowing patients to make well-informed choices, in a citizen-oriented logic and with the aim of obtaining maximum health gain.
Participants of this pioneering project are: São João Hospital Centre, Porto Hospital Centre, Braga Hospital, Coimbra University Hospital Centre, Northern Lisbon Hospital Centre, Central Lisbon Hospital Centre, Gama Pinto Institute, five units of CUF Group, Coimbra Ophthalmology Unit - UOC (Unidade de Oftalmologia de Coimbra), together with other five companies, namely Novartis, Alcon, Bayer, Edol.
To be noted that the use of cutting-edge technology to collect and analyse data from clinicians and patients is a fundamental pillar of a project like this, where the Portuguese startup Promptly, an HCP associate, has played a key role in its success.
Health Cluster Portugal plans to expand the Value-based Health Care project to other specialties in order to promote the adoption of this new value-based model, which will happen as early as 2021.