READING ROOM: Redefining Health Care: Creating Value-Based Competition on Results

Physician's Money Digest, January 2007, Volume 14, Issue 1

Over the past decade health care reform has been a topic of great discussion and heated debate. Changes to the system can be controversial, and some participants are unwilling to make necessary adjustments. Physicians are left wondering what they can do to begin positive changes in their own practices. Michael E. Porter and Elizabeth Olmstead Teisberg have collaborated to write Redefining Health Care: Creating Value-Based Competition on Results (Harvard Business School Press; 2006), an insightful book asserting that health care can improve its value as measured by health outcome per dollar expended. Competition in the medical field has led to some devastating practices with patients paying the price, the book explains. Reforming health care to avoid these possible damages requires a change in balance between profits and providing quality services. Redefining Health Care describes how health care practitioners can alter their practice structure, operation, and attitudes in order to boost positive patient results and reward quality care. Porter and Teisberg give a historical account of past reforms in order to understand the consequences of those programs and outline good and bad strategies for health care improvement. The book attempts to answer the question of why health care competition is failing to improve the value of care and provides readers with clear building blocks for improvement.