How can Middle Eastern countries successfully adopt value-based care models?

Health systems in many countries in the Middle East are currently undergoing radical transformations as they strive to balance quality, cost and access to healthcare. Healthcare spending continues to increase, driven by the region’s growing healthcare consumerism, ageing populations and the increasing prevalence of chronic conditions and lifestyle diseases.

As providers, payers and patients alike recognise that the current healthcare financing framework—a predominantly fee-for-service (FFS) environment—is not sustainable, a key focus for reform in the region is developing high-value provider reimbursement models that tie healthcare spending to the achievement of the best possible health outcomes. A value-based healthcare system encourages the efficiency of hospitals and clinics in ways that optimise the services they provide. By tying payment to the value of services provided instead of just the quantity of services, value-based payment incentivises providers to give the best possible care to patients in order to maximise health outcomes, patient safety, patient experience and efficiency.

Countries like the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have recognised this need and are leading the region’s initiatives to adopt value-based healthcare. The successful adoption of value-based care in the Middle East faces important challenges. In this article, Milliman’s Lalit Baveja, Alison Counihan, and Carol Bazell discuss six of those challenges.