Harvard Business Review

Understanding Health Care’s Short-Termism Problem

By Amitabh Chandra and Dana Goldman

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ARTICLE SUMMARY

Value in health care means different things to different people. Patients often measure the value of health care by looking at the outcome, while employers and health plan administrators reference cost. Both groups, however, tend to take a myopic view, focusing on the short term.

Understand the right way to think about value in health care by focusing on the long term. It starts by calculating value in a different way — assessing the stream of benefits accrued over a lifetime compared to the price of acquiring them.