Value-Based Procurement is finally coming home

+ 07/10/2018

The first anniversary of the adoption of the European Commission’s Public Procurement Strategy as well as my recent return from and inspiring and very productive session of European Health Forum Gastein prompted me to finally shed some light on my passion for Value-Based Procurement.

Why? Simply put, because I think it’s high time that the Policy community at EU level starts taking its cue from those at national and regional level who are having to grapple with the realities of the Public Procurement Directive since the end of its transition phase in 2016.

Healthcare systems are facing unprecedented challenges and new concepts around value-based healthcare have entered into the debate. Supporting that, there has been a discussion around how to take outcomes better into account (including quality of life, economic cost and benefits as well as socio-economic aspects) in the area of purchasing and procurement.

‘VBP should define value based on outcomes/cost, where outcomes are defined by a truly multi stakeholder group and by keeping the patients, their life cycles and daily lives, at the centre, with measurable and manageable indicators using a broad, person-centred approach.’

Working definition of Value-Based Procurement by Third-i VBP Multi-stakeholder Task Force

However our work over the last two years revealed some startling realities as well as some very real hope for the future:

  1. There seems to still be a reticence within the Brussels Policy Community to call out the phrase “value-based healthcare”. I first spotted it when I made a presentation to the ERRIN Health Working Group in April this year.  
    • The European Commission (as well as the the other Institutions at Supranational level) have yet to come up with a definitive definition of “value based healthcare” and within that a solid definition of “value-based procurement” ; both in terms of definition and scope.

  2. Meanwhile, stakeholders are very keen to see how to align themselves from a change management perspective and actually implement the concept of Value-Based procurement in their day-to-day professional environments (see the videos below for some great examples  from members of our VBP Task Force).
    • Being willing and able to align themselves, however is proving to be two very different things.  One of the biggest challenges expressed by our Task Force has been the missing link of “Value-based Relationship Management”

  3. The bottom line seems to be that some stakeholders almost want to jump the gun or put the cart before the horse by creating nice implementation frameworks for MEAT ( Most Economic Advantageous Tender) prior to being clear about who exactly makes up the value ecosystem and how they can interact with each other in  a trusting and well-informed environment

You can download the full Issues Briefing here.

This document is one of the outcomes of a series of multi-stakeholder workshops developed and facilitated by Third-i, bringing together experts from across the field to engage on the topic of VBP in Europe.

  1. Key message 1 (Bottom-up approach): Actions and know-how from the local and regional level (bottom-up approach) are key for understanding the day-to-day reality of VBP. 
  2. Key message 2 (Pilot Projects): A structured approach to pilot projects is required.
  3. Key message 3 (Resourcing Models): Resourcing models must be adapted to those new approaches on VBP.

Issues Briefing I: Making Value Based Procurement (VBP) a Reality was coordinated and drafted by the Third-i team (Jacqueline Bowman-Busato, Nikoleta Arnaudova, Michael Creek).

For more information on the Briefing and expert group
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This Issues Briefing and its contents are published for non-commercial purposes (finalised and distributed to internal audiences as well as promoted and publicised on the organisations’ websites and other communications channels) with the permission and authorisation of the contributing Experts (listed on p.10), with the coordination of Third-i bvba, and may be distributed for the purposes of the Expert Group and its activities only.

Any external distribution and further use for organisational purposes need to provide clear references to the original text and title: Issues Briefing I: Making Value Based Procurement (VBP) a Reality in healthcare, VBP Expert Group, with coordination of Third-i bvba 2017, Brussels