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Integrating Vendors into Value-Based Healthcare: Challenges and Opportunities

Dr. Michael Shenouda, Chief Commercial Officer at Open Medical, shares his insights on integrating procurement into value-based healthcare.


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The shift towards Value-Based Healthcare delivery models is becoming increasingly popular, and it has been a major focus of recent conversations I've been involved in, as noted in some of my previous comments.


While the practicalities of implementing these models across various care settings are still being developed, most of the focus appears to be on the relationship between healthcare payers and providers, and ensuring patient-centred care. These are all essential aspects, however, one of the particularly interesting questions that has surfaced in my recent discussions around this topic is; 


How can we incentivise industry vendors to become embedded into the value-based healthcare chain? 


The concept of making vendors integral parts of the value-based healthcare chain, by a shift towards value-based procurement that includes vendors, could hold significant potential for all involved: payers, providers, industry partners, and ultimately patients. By encouraging vendors to offer comprehensive, holistic solutions and assuming responsibility for any escalating costs, healthcare providers stand to gain financial protection, assurance of quality service delivery and improved solutions, while vendors can be encouraged and rewarded for providing more efficient and complete services. 


However, transitioning to a true value-based procurement model between providers and industry will not be without its challenges. Clear and well-defined project scoping would be essential to prevent vendors from being overburdened by scope creep or unclear expectations.


Success will rely on robust collaboration between all stakeholders, and a healthy relationship between providers and vendors, aligned to delivering improved outcomes. Additionally,  due consideration will need to be given to ensuring appropriate payment schedules, giving financial incentive and protection to the vendors, while also providing clear milestones and protection from escalating costs for healthcare providers.


All of this will require careful consideration and strategic planning, and will be dependent on the specific use case - no one-size-fits all relationships.


Yet the benefits could be huge: fostering a culture of collaboration, innovation and continuous improvement, ultimately benefiting patients, while ensuring sustainability and success for healthcare providers and industry alike.

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