Value-Based Health Care


This is one of those courses that may change students’ lives forever, as because of this course, they will be able to help improving people’s lives all around the world. The course prepares the students for the new world of value-based health care (VBHC) but everything discussed may well also be transferred to the third sector.

If a person needs to get coronary bypass surgery, he or she wants to know whether a surgical team at one hospital has better outcomes with the procedure than the surgical team at another hospital. Choices at all levels ought to be made based on that sort of information, and not based on information such as whether the doctor is on time for his appointments or has a good personality.

The course teaches health outcomes, cost measurement, value-based reimbursement, value-based health care implementation, and leading change. It explores the best practices for reorganizing and coordinating care, improving process efficiencies, implementing new reimbursement approaches, and integrating care delivery across practices.

Innovative health care organizations worldwide are moving toward VBHC. We are still early in this transition, but it is happening in all parts of the world. Elements of the health care industry need to understand and prepare for it. That includes providers, provider organizations, employers, payers – governments and private insurers – as well as suppliers of drugs, equipment, and medical devices.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João Marques-Gomes


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



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1.    Argyris, Chris, and Robert S. Kaplan. "Implementing New Knowledge: The Case of Activity-Based Costing." Accounting Horizons 8, no. 3 (September 1994): 83–105.
2.    Kaplan, Robert S. "Boston Children's Hospital: Measuring Patient Costs (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 914-407, September 2013.
3.    Kaplan, Robert S., Mary L. Witkowski, and Jessica A. Hohman. "Schön Klinik: Measuring Cost and Value." Harvard Business School Case 112-085, March 2012. (Revised December 2014.)
4.    Kaplan, Robert S., Michael E. Porter, Thomas W. Feeley, and Alee Hernandez. "Medtronic: Navigating a Shifting Healthcare Landscape." Harvard Business School Case 718-471, January 2018. (Revised June 2018.)
5.    Marques-Gomes, João. “How much does a bad treatment cost?” Hospital Público, September 2018 (available at
6.    Okunade O, Arora J, Haverhals A. Collaborating for value: the Santeon Hospitals in the Netherlands, June 2017 (available at
7.    Porter, Michael E. "What Is Value in Health Care?" New England Journal of Medicine 363, no. 26 (December 23, 2010): 2477–2481.
8.    Porter, Michael E., and Elizabeth O. Teisberg. Redefining Health Care: Creating Value-Based Competition on Results. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2006.
9.    Porter, Michael E., and Thomas H. Lee. "The Strategy That Will Fix Health Care." Harvard Business Review 91, no. 10 (October 2013): 50–70.
10.    Porter, Michael E., Clifford M. Marks, and Zachary C. Landman. "OrthoChoice: Bundled Payments in the County of Stockholm (A)." Harvard Business School Case 714-514, June 2014. (Revised April 2015.)
11.    Porter, Michael E., Jens Deerberg-Wittram, and Clifford Marks. "Martini Klinik: Prostate Cancer Care." Harvard Business School Case 714-471, March 2014. (Revised June 2014.)
12.    Porter, Michael E., Justin M. Bachmann, and Zachary C. Landman. "Texas Children's Hospital: Congenital Heart Disease Care." Harvard Business School Case 714-507, April 2014. (Revised March 2018.)
13.    Porter, Michael E., Thomas H. Lee, and Meredith A. Alger. "Oak Street Health: A New Model of Primary Care." Harvard Business School Case 717-437, February 2017. (Revised April 2018.)

Teaching method

The course provides a rich learning experience by combining presentations, dynamic discussions of case studies and real examples, interactions with guest speakers, an on-site visit to a hospital, and fieldwork. Background reading is expected as the students are required to have an active participation in class.

Evaluation method

There will be a midterm exam and a final exam which will account for 20% and 30% of the final grade, respectively. Both exams are mandatory. The final exam will cover the entire span of the course. The remainder of the evaluation consists of fieldwork and class participation. Fieldwork and class participation will account for 40% and 10% of the final grade, respectively.

Subject matter

1.    Improving health outcomes
2.    Reorganizing and coordinating care
3.    Reducing costs
4.    Value-based reimbursement
5.    Overcoming implementation challenges


Programs where the course is taught: