The path to value-based health care in Australia

By The Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

Over 200+ health system leaders gathered at the Value-Based Health Care Congress at QUT Gardens Point on 26-27 October to discuss the global Value-Based Health Care movement (VBHC), and what it means in the context of Australia.

Hosted by the national peak body for public healthcare, the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA), in partnership with the Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation (AusHSI) and proudly supported by Queensland Government, the Congress has placed a spotlight on the role of value-based health care in transforming the health outcomes of Australians and the sustainability of the health system.

“Value for people and communities requires collaboration. We know that integrated care cannot be achieved when organisations work in isolation. The Congress provided an opportunity for all elements of the system to come together around the common problems impacting healthcare in Australia and globally to create a shared purpose and culture that prioritises the outcomes that matter to people and communities,” said AHHA Chief Executive Kylie Woolcock.

International Keynote speaker Dr Sally Lewis shared her experience as Director of the Welsh Value in Health Centre, NHS Wales, highlighting the importance of outcomes, “We need to better understand the extent to which our health and care systems are meeting the healthcare goals and outcomes of the people we serve.”

“Data and digital transformation will be a critical component of this, but we must ensure we focus on true digital transformation, not merely digitising traditional ways of working. To effectively drive value, digital systems and data collections processes must be innovative, useable and scalable with collaboration and partnership at the heart of their creation and functionality.”

VBHCC Panel session 2 TBC

(L-R) Elizabeth Koff, Managing Director, Telstra Health, A/Prof. Zephanie Tyack, AusHSI, Dr Tessa Bod-Caine, CEO, Health Justice Australia, The Hon. Jillian Skinner, Chair, AHHA, Dr Sonj Hall, Editor-in Chief, Australian Health Review.

VBHCC Dr Sally Lewis

Dr Sally Lewis, Director, Welsh Value in Health Centre, NHS Wales.

Reflecting on the discussions across the two days, Dr Lewis commented on the importance of community self-determination.

“We need to work together to create the environments and structures that allow communities to come together to solve the wicked problems that impact their lives. They are the experts in their experience and local context, and we need to listen and elevate them to the position of leaders, experts and partners in everything we do in health care.”

“We all have an important role to play in contributing to the bigger picture, to create a system that is designed to prioritise value focused on the outcomes that matter to people and communities.”

“Over the two days of the Congress, we have seen the commitment towards implementing VBHC in Australia strengthen. AHHA’s Australian Centre for Value-Based Health Care is focused on driving this commitment forward, and working with stakeholders across all levels of government and the breadth of the health system to improve the outcomes of Australians,” said Ms Woolcock.

As part of the Congress program, AusHSI Professor Steven McPhail facilitated a panel exploring using data to prioritise, design and drive improvements. Associate Professor Zephanie Tyack participated on a panel to discuss the support you need when driving change and new models of care, and presented a new toolkit for identifying and addressing low value care.

While the Congress has ended for 2023, discussions around the role of place-based value-based health care continue to be explored. Dr Sally Lewis and AHHA CEO Kylie Woolcock travelled the country in November discussing value-based health care implementation and the contextual factors necessary to support it. To find out more, visit the AHHA website.

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) is the independent peak membership body and advocate for the Australian healthcare system and a national voice for universally accessible, high-quality healthcare in Australia.

VBHCC Welcome

Prof. Steven McPhail, Centre Director / Strength Lead – Health Economics and Program Lead – Digital Health, AusHSI


A/Prof. Zephanie Tyack, Program Co-Lead – Hospital Services, AusHSI