With growing pressure on the sustainability and resiliency of Canada’s healthcare systems and supply chains, value-based healthcare approaches continue to gain momentum worldwide, said a new Conference Board of Canada study. 

Instead of the traditional focus on the lowest acquisition price or short-term savings, value-based procurement (VBP) looks at the overall value of a product or solution in terms of its ability to improve patient outcomes. The goal is to reduce the total cost of care for specific patient groups. Secondary benefits of VBP extend to other stakeholders, such as healthcare providers, health systems and society at large. At the provincial and federal level, benefits include the ability to build supply chain resiliency and predictability to better support patient care. 

The Conference Board says Canada is building foundations for VBP and some provinces have introduced legislative action in support of VBP. COVID-19 served as a catalyst to unlock important opportunities to advance the application of VBP. But uptake of VBP (and the potential for Canada’s health systems to realize value) remains low despite promising applications and progress in supporting policies, legislation, and processes. Barriers to its adoption include siloed hospital budgets, lack of supportive funding models at the provincial level and timely access to patient and system outcome data to measure value.