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Discovering Value-Based Health Care
Interactive Learning Modules from Dell Medical School


We find ourselves in a turbulent but exciting time in health care. As a society, our capabilities to diagnose and treat disease are accelerating at a remarkable pace, yet unless we understand how to deliver health care in ways that meaningfully and consistently improve patient outcomes, we will fail to achieve our true goals. We must learn how to consider the intricate needs of our patients – their health circumstances, priorities, context, time and monetary stress – and to integrate the powerful capabilities of our health care system to provide the best possible care for each patient in front of us.

This transformation will occur on multiple levels. Leaders will transform the culture, strategy and goals of their organizations to high-value care delivery. Individuals, particularly early in their careers, often have less influence on the transformation of systems, but each of us can still make a difference. This course aims at that day-to-day difference you can make to improve the value of health care delivered in our current systems.

We must understand and embrace the concepts of value-based health care: maximizing outcomes that matter to patients per total costs of care. Our mission in this course is to help you as a professional – a medical, nursing, pharmacy or social work student; a resident physician or clinical fellow; a frontline physician or nurse; a respiratory, occupational, or physical therapist - not only learn what high-value health care is, but to engage you in the mission to ensure we can deliver on this promise to our patients. We seek through these modules to provide you with tools and to empower you to be a model for health care change and a leader in the effort to bring value to the forefront of our field.

Collection 1

Introduction to Value-Based Health Care

What is value in health care? This collection contains three modules, which introduce the concept of value in health care - outcomes that matter to patients / total costs of care - and describes what it means for both patients and clinicians. Module 2 explores different types of measures and discusses the importance of measuring outcomes that matter to patients (the numerator of the value equation). Module 3 confronts the confusing world of costs in health care (the denominator of the value equation), defining different cost terms and payment models, and exploring cost accounting and insurance coverage structure.



Our medical system is vast, complex, and teeming with wide variations in outcomes, disparities in care and results, virtual miracles and tragic harms, overuse, underuse and inappropriate use of services, inefficiencies and waste. These complex issues impact the care we provide and the outcomes of patients’ care, and they can seem an overwhelming problem too difficult to fully comprehend, let alone change. This module defines the goals of value-based health care—working with patients and families to achieve better health outcomes, efficiently.



How do we measure our success in health care? How do we define it, and where do we begin? These questions have a very clear answer: our success is inextricably tied to and based on our patients’ outcomes. In this module, you will explore how to measure outcomes that matter to patients. We will discuss patient goals, priorities, desires, and experiences.



Costs are a major problem with our health care system today, not only at the individual patient level, but at the level of organizations as well. Yet, few health professionals learn even the basics about how costs are handled in health care; for example, what is the difference between charges, costs, and reimbursement? This module will teach about how costs are assessed and paid for in health care, as well as introduce contemporary tools for cost accounting.

Collection 2

Value-Based Health Care Delivery

Collection two examines what value-based health care delivery can look like in practice. The collection contains two modules that cover the importance of working with teams to coordinate care around the needs of patients, including the description of two example delivery structures: Integrated Practice Units (IPUs) and Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs). Module 5 brings the concepts all together and shows real examples of how to put into practice the six guiding principles of value-based health care delivery.


Coordinating Care for Patients

Health care can be designed around team-based care coordinated around the needs of patients. This module describes how. It includes real-world descriptions of Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs) and Integrated Practice Units (IPUs), highlighting the early experience of designing and building the UT Health Austin Women’s Health clinic at Dell Medical School.


Bringing it all Together: Value Based Health Care Delivery

This module will bring together all of the concepts to show what is required to make value-based health care delivery a reality. Each component includes concrete examples to show how this work is already being implemented in practice.

Collection 3

Improving Value at the Bedside

This collection describes clear ways clinicians can practice high-value care in their day-to-day work . Module6 describes how to decrease out-of-pocket costs for patients through high-value prescribing. Module7 addresses communication techniques that build trusting relationships with patients and enable the delivery of high-value care.


Enhancing Affordability for Patients through High-Value Prescribing

This module will focus on how you can help patients decrease their out-of-pocket medication costs through pragmatic solutions. The high costs of medications is an increasing challenge for patients, leading many to not be able to follow through with their treatment plans. There are simple steps you can take to help them.



Effective communication is the key to developing strong relationships that lead to high-value care delivery. However, these conversations can be challenging. This module provides clear tactics to overcome common pitfalls and to lead conversations that enhance trust and understanding.

Collection 4

Improving Value in Systems

This final collection tackles how to create programs that will improve value in complex health care systems. This collection covers how culture influences the delivery of health care value and introduces strategies to catalyze local culture change, along with proven improvement methods. We also review value-based payment models and strategies for controlling cost as components that can support the delivery of value-based health care.



This module describes the profound impact of local organizational culture on health care delivery practices and attitudes, and how you can contribute to creating a culture that promotes high-value care.



Expanding upon the basic health care cost and accounting terms from module 3 (Understanding Costs in Health Care), this module explores the array of potential payment models, from fee-for-service to episode-based bundled payments and global budgets, and how each may contribute to (or inhibit) value-based health care delivery.



This module tackles how to make actual change in the day-to-day delivery of health care. We introduce improvement methodologies and processes for change implementation to help you analyze, plan, implement, and measure proposed improvements. You will be taken through each part of the process and provided with tools that you can carry into your own organization to promote real change.

The Dell Medical School Value-Based Health Care (VBHC) modules are supported by the generous grant support of the Episcopal Health Foundation. We have worked to develop a rich, interactive instructional experience that brings the expertise and research Dell Medical School has invested into the provision of VBHC together with an innovative, high-impact pedagogical approach.



Congratulations! You have completed all modules of Collection 1: Introduction to Value-Based Health Care. If you wish to receive a certificate of completion and/or AMA CME credits you must complete our evaluation survey through the University of Texas Dell Medical School as described here. If you wish to receive AAPA CME credits, you must return to the AAPA Learning Central to complete the evaluation survey.


Congratulations! You have completed both modules of Collection 2: Value-Based Health Care Delivery. If you wish to receive a certificate of completion and/or AMA CME credits, you must complete our evaluation survey through the University of Texas Dell Medical School as described here.


Congratulations! You have completed both modules of Collection 3: Improving Value at the Bedside. If you wish to receive a certificate of completion and/or AMA CME credits, you must complete our evaluation survey through the University of Texas Dell Medical School as described here.


Congratulations! You have completed all three modules of Collection 4: Improving Value in Systems. If you wish to receive a certificate of completion and/or AMA CME credits, you must complete our evaluation survey through the University of Texas Dell Medical School as described here.