« Back to All Voices from the Field

Payment Reform

Marsha Manning: The Importance of Defining Value in Healthcare

Identifying what value means is the first step in moving from volume to value, according to Marsha Manning, Manager of Medical Benefits and Services for the University of Michigan. The transition in Detroit has been somewhat disparate. “Each entity, whether it be a public payer or private purchaser has been defining individual priorities,” Manning explains. “As a community we can probably move that forward a lot quicker if we can find some common priorities.”

Aligning priorities remains a significant barrier is defining what value is. The analysis of data and inherent self-interests of certain organizations also creates obstacles in discovering common ground when it comes to defining priorities. “These are barriers that we need to overcome if we are ever going to shift to a more value-based system,” says Manning.

At the University of Michigan, Manning is part of a team that is working to reform how it pays for care that is delivered to its employees under its own health system. The institution is also developing robust quality metrics involved in the more risk-based payment arrangement. “This is so we can ensure that our definition of value for our employed population and their family members is driven through the type of care that is delivered in that model,” explains Manning.

“We hope to be able to take the learnings from that experience with our own provider and move it into the community with other providers that we do business with.”