Dr. Elizabeth Teisberg: A Conversation with the Co-Creator of Value-Based Care

September 15, 2021
Josie Rasberry

Download How to Leverage Ambulatory Surgical Centers for Lower Costs and Higher Satisfaction

Download Now

Is Your Health Plan a Tech Whiz or a Dinosaur?

Take the quiz to find out!

Download the Patient Advocacy 2.0 White Paper

Download Now

Download the Complete Guide to Retaining Health Plan Members.

Download Now

Download the Complete Guide to Growing Your Health Plan Membership

Download Now

Download the Complete Guide to Lowering Member Costs

Download Now

Download Healthcare Consumerism 101: A Playbook for Health Plans

Download Now

Download Your Guide to the Transparency in Coverage Rule

Download Now

Download Your Guide to Unique Benefit Offerings that Don't Break the Bank

Download Now

Download the Complete Sedera Case Study

Download Now

On this episode of the Point Health podcast, we were joined by Dr. Elizabeth Teisberg, co-creator of the concept of value-based health care delivery and executive director of the Value Institute for Health and Care. She’s also the Cullen Trust for Higher Education Distinguished University Chair in Value-Based Care. Dr. Teisberg is an expert in transformational innovation and the implementation of high-value healthcare, and speaks to and advises organizations throughout the U.S. and around the globe. In addition to being an integral member of the leadership team and faculty at Dell Med and a professor at UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business, she is a senior associate at Harvard’s Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness.

Our host for this episode (and Dr. Teisberg’s former student!)Steven Cutbirth, discussed several topics with her, including how she and Dr. Michael E. Porter developed the concept of value-based care, why she believes it’s the ideal solution for improving outcomes and lowering costs, the misconceptions around value-based care, and much more. Dr. Teisberg also shares why she started the joint Masters of Science in Healthcare Transformation program at the Dell Medical School and McCombs School of Business and who should consider applying for the Master's program.

You can listen to the whole episode here or on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever else you listen to podcasts. If you’re short on time, we’ve included a few highlights from our conversation below:

Steven: “You are one of the co-creators of the value-based care concept, what did the process of creating that look like? Did you know then what it would turn into today?”

Dr. Teisberg: “When my youngest son got well, I sort of had this sense that I've been being held underwater in the healthcare system for the five years that he had been sick and came up with that sense of sort of gasping for air, but needing to say something. Just having this sense that kids shouldn't go through this, that we should be able to find the help we need. So I was talking with Mike, he'd been my mentor for years, and he said ‘Write something.’ We had written an article together after my other son had open-heart surgery, and so again he said ‘Write something, I'll write it with you.’ So I did, I wrote something, I passed it over to Mike, we wrote back and forth. And we initially sent it to Health Affairs, which rejected it because it was too different from the current thinking at that time. But I listened to what they were saying, and what it was that they didn't understand about what we were saying. What I realized is that people think about healthcare at this really high level, thinking that it's one thing, but actually the care that you need if, for example, you have a congenital heart anomaly is really different than if you have a frail elder who has multiple chronic patients. So all of the conversations had been at the wrong level because it wasn't at the level where a patient gets help. It was at the level where hospitals and health plans succeed financially. The whole thing was oriented toward the wrong question. So I realized that Health Affairs hadn't been able to hear that level difference. So we rewrote it and sent it to Harvard Business Review. I don't know exactly what happened in Mike's office, but I got 38,000 emails. It was like having a dump truck of mail just dumped on you at once. And I shared an EA with 10 people, so we weren't allowed to have your EA help you with emails. So I took the summer off to just deal with the emails and then in that process, as we were getting all these responses from it, a book publisher approached Mike and Mike said, ‘Oh, sure. We can turn the white paper that we had into another paper. Elizabeth can do that in a few months.’ And long story short, I took another year of unpaid leave to write a book. And I had no idea what the reaction to it was going to be. I sort of figured as an academic, you write a book, you get a little splash for a while, and then you go back to your day job. And I needed to write, it was good for me to write, but I had no idea how strong the effect is when Mike publishes something. It's read all over the world. Even just in the initial 38,000 emails, we had senders from every continent except Antarctica. It was just crazy. I didn't anticipate that it would change the global conversation. And I certainly didn't anticipate that I would spend the rest of my life trying to help people make these changes.”

Steven: “Let’s talk a little bit about the value institute program and kind of who you think it's for and who are the kind of folks that you want to come into this conversation about change and about value-based care and about transformation so that we can actually make a difference. So could you talk a little about the program, about who you're looking for to join?

Dr. Teisberg: “Sure I’d be delighted to. So we're offering the Master of Science in Healthcare Transformation, and offering a master's degree in transformation sounds like you should have to go to Hogwarts or something, right? So it's a unique program. Rather than call it a master's degree in leadership, and in many ways it is, but we chose transformation because we want a community of people who are seeking to create a better future, rather than just people who want to be in charge. And we have a really cool community of people on it that really do want to make a change, and the people who are in the program are really impressive. Initially, Scott Wallace, Alice Andrews, and I put our heads together to say, ‘What are the skill sets you need, the mindsets you need, the frameworks you need to be able to lead transformation. And we created all of the courses from scratch. So the courses aren't courses that you could take someplace else, it's not a patchwork of like business school courses. And then the people we want in there are people who want to help make transformation really happen, who are interested in the how-to of transformation. And we seek out people from a wide variety of roles. We work at having a diverse set of people in the room because that's part of how you get a network if you will. And more relationships with people that can help you make the change you really want to make. And it also de-villanizes roles. Your colleague who's working in pharma, your colleague who is working in health plans, whatever they're working, you begin to realize these are good people wanting to make a change, smart people working hard. And then you realize that there are opportunities to work together that are underused when we villainize people.” 

To hear the whole conversation, click here for the full podcast episode. You can also hear more from Dr. Teisberg by visiting https://valueinstitute.utexas.edu/ or email her at teisberg@austin.utexas.edu

Download How to Leverage Ambulatory Surgical Centers for Lower Costs and Higher Satisfaction

Discover how TPAs, health cost sharing groups, and limited benefit medical plans can benefit from the use of ASCs.

Is Your Health Plan a Tech Whiz or a Dinosaur?

Take the quiz to find out!
TAKE THE SURVEY

Download the Patient Advocacy 2.0 White Paper

Discover what health plan members had to say about the value of patient advocacy in our survey.

Download the Complete Guide to Retaining Health Plan Members.

Learn the best strategies and tips for retaining your members while keeping costs low.

Download the Complete Guide to Growing Your Health Plan Membership

Learn the best strategies and tips for growing your members while keeping costs low.

Download the Complete Guide to Lowering Member Costs

Discover what health plan members had to say about the value of patient advocacy in our survey.

Download Healthcare Consumerism 101: A Playbook for Health Plans

Learn the best strategies and tips for retaining your members while keeping costs low.

Download Your Guide to the Transparency in Coverage Rule

Discover how the the new rule will affect TPAs and health plans and how you can start your journey to compliance.

Download Your Guide to Unique Benefit Offerings that Don't Break the Bank

Discover how to add value to your health offerings that delight clients and members but don’t cost a fortune.

Download the Complete Sedera Case Study

Discover what health plan members had to say about the value of patient advocacy in our survey.

You might also enjoy.