Elderly person with cane.

New Procurement Model Can Increase the Impact of Health and Social Care Services

Nordic countries today almost exclusively focus in their social and healthcare services on resources, production and output. Outcome and value are as concepts, however, starting to emerge as challengers.

The Nordic Innovation financed VABPRO project has created a generic Nordic value based service design and procurement model to help public providers improve the outcome of health and social care services. The model has been successfully tested within various Swedish and Finnish social and health care services, and used to develop a manual for value based service design and procurement.

"I am happy that we have been able to show that it is possible to create new types of user-centred value based services that are justifiable both quality and cost wise", says project leader Suzan Ikävalko from Nordic Healthcare Group.

Enhancing quality

The VABPRO case studies show that value based procurement models have the potential to significantly enhance quality of health and social care services beyond the impacts achieved with prevailing practices and reimbursement models. The main steps of the proposed model include:

  • Re-design of the services around user needs.
  • Setting clear and measurable impact objectives and metrics for the services.
  • Evaluating outcomes and incentivising continuous improvement.

Encouraging a Nordic test market

Value based approaches are implementable in most social and healthcare services, and can justify new and alternative investments in integrated, user-centred care with innovative uses of eHealth. Services like this, with incentive and reimbursement models that drive continuous improvement and benefits for all parties, could become a new Nordic value proposition for international markets.

To conclude, the VABPRO project leader Suzan Ikävalko encourages Nordic countries to jointly offer a development platform for value based services and to create a joint Nordic test market for integrated eHealth services.

"I really hope these types of services will emerge and grow in importance and support a more efficient Nordic public health and social care service sector and create new opportunities for suppliers", says Ikävalko.

VABPRO was financed as part of the Innovation in the Health Sector Through Public Procurement and Regulation program running from 2011 to 2013.