Celebrating the first year of the European Alliance for Value in Health
2021 has been a pivotal year for health policy in Europe, and the first year for the European Alliance for Value in Health. So it’s time to look back on what we achieved so far, and also to look forward!
Looking back: what we have achieved
A year ago, 11 associations launched the European Alliance for Value in Health, with a joint vision of a Europe where health systems are value-based, sustainable, and people-centred. The Alliance went on a mission to partner across sectors to facilitate health system transformation, by disseminating knowledge and best practices, and engaging with policy makers and stakeholders – at European, national, and regional levels.
We are very proud to see that in our first year we managed to grow the Alliance to 12 partner associations representing patients, scientific and professional societies, healthcare managers, hospitals, regional health authorities and life-science industries, and also extend our network with 5 affiliated organisations, providing specific expert views to the Alliance.
Early March 2021 we organised a first networking event, bringing together our partner associations and almost 50 member organisations. The aim was to connect attendees and inspire them to further collaborate on the topic of value in health. It was great to see how different healthcare stakeholders found so much common ground in working towards value-based health systems. The 6 key principles of the Alliance were seen as fundamental to the transformation, with 2 of them seen as particularly important by participants:
- Outcomes that matter to people and patients, as well as benefits valued by health systems and societies, are at the centre of decision making
- Financing models and payments reward value and outcomes
In the meantime, health system resilience was becoming a key topic for policy makers in Europe with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic becoming ever more clear. In the view of the Alliance, the issue of health system resilience would need to be put in a broader context of both immediate and long-term challenges for health systems, where a value-based and person-centred approach are central parts of the solution. For this reason we wrote our policy paper ‘Health systems after COVID-19 – Building resilience through a value-based approach’, to demonstrate how the key principles championed by the Alliance can strengthen health system resilience both in emergencies and in times of normalcy.
Building on the policy paper, our public event ‘Lessons from the crisis: how a value-based approach can make health systems more resilient’ brought together a large audience and 10 highly qualified speakers across stakeholders to discuss the topic of health system resilience and the vision of the Alliance. Speakers agreed that a coherent set of policy changes is needed at all levels: Europe, national and regional. The event concluded with an important takeaway: the real danger is a return to the status quo, not the emergence of a new pandemic – we have a unique opportunity to reform and improve healthcare in Europe through a holistic system approach which we cannot afford to miss.
Throughout the year, we have kept a strong focus on collecting and disseminating relevant knowledge and best practices on value in health. The Alliance website now contains a collection of 35 external publications and 9 case studies. Furthermore, as an Alliance we published 3 publications ourselves, and released 4 blogs. To make sure you are all aware of these great resources, we sent out no less than 219 posts across our social media channels at Twitter and LinkedIn.
Please help us to further build this knowledge base, and make sure to keep spreading our messages on social media!
Looking forward: what you can expect
We realise that the transition towards value-based health systems can only be achieved when all relevant stakeholders in the healthcare eco system work together. Through our internal and external discussions over the past year, we have identified two key enablers for this collaboration:
- A common language around value in health and value-based health systems
- A methodology to bring stakeholders together in a structured and focused way
The Alliance will pick up the challenge towards 2022 and 2023 to work with our partner associations, our affiliated organisations and other stakeholders to deliver tangible materials focused on these enablers:
- A value-based taxonomy to establish common definitions and terminology in the field of value in health – starting with the definition of ‘value’ itself. The taxonomy should arrive at broadly shared and supported definitions.
- A value-based stakeholder engagement methodology to bring stakeholders together to start and drive a constructive dialogue on transitioning towards value-based health systems.
When driving these initiatives forward, the Alliance will be reaching out to all interested partners and stakeholders for input and validation. And of course you can expect to see the results of this process through publications and events later in the year.
In this way, we aim to take the next concrete step in facilitating the transition towards value-based, sustainable and people-centred health system in Europe, and hope that you will join us on this journey!
Valentina Polylas & Thomas Allvin
Co-Chairs of the European Alliance for Value in Health