The Value Initiative: Framing the Issue of Affordable Health Care

The Value Initiative

Improving affordability remains a top issue for consumers, lawmakers and the health care sector.

To that end, in 2017 the AHA Board of Trustees created the Committee on Health Strategy & Innovation to examine the complex issue of affordability. This committee was asked to challenge standard assumptions related to health care costs and value; to ask the hard questions; and, to identify the role that hospitals and health systems can play in improving health care affordability.

In addition, the AHA board and this committee gathered input and insights from leaders throughout the field at AHA’s regional policy board, council and member meetings. Extensive dialogue took place around some key issues related to affordability – including the factors that influence affordability, measures of affordability, and strategies to advance affordability.

Based on the collective input, the committee and AHA board identified two tracks for the AHA’s work on this crucial issue:

  1. Continue building on the AHA’s core positions to promote affordability and value.
  2. Establish The Value Initiative, a focused AHA effort that would provide leadership to the hospital field on the issue of affordability.

Specifically, The Value Initiative will provide hospital and health system leaders with the education, resources and tools that they need to advance affordable health care and promote value within their communities. We also will gather the data, stories and hospital experiences necessary to develop and support federal policy solutions that could, for example, reduce drug prices and other input costs or reduce the regulatory burden associated with delivering health care. In addition, The Value Initiative will serve as a platform for the AHA to engage in dialogue and foster change on this important issue with key stakeholders, policy makers, think tanks and advocacy groups.

This website is just one of the many ways the AHA will keep you connected to the latest developments and resources developed for our member hospital and health systems.

If you are new to The Value Initiative and would like more information, see below for ways in which you can engage.

Steps Your Hospital or Health System Can Take to Promote Value

Arrow 7

1. Engage with The Value Initiative

Explore the tools, resources and education on this page and throughout that you can use to advance affordable health care and promote value within your community. You can start with learning more about what we hope to accomplish with The Value Initiative and our first Issue Brief that frames the issue of affordability.

Arrow 8

2. Start the Conversation

Host a conversation on value with your employees, trustees and community leaders. We have developed an easy-to-use presentation that provides an overview of the ongoing work within the hospital and health system field to address affordability and reframe the conversation to consider cost of care, patient experience and outcomes as part of total value. This presentation may be personalized with photos, data and other information that is relevant to your community.

Arrow 9

3. Get the Facts

Download AHA’s Affordability Data Book to learn the latest numbers associated with health care affordability. The customizable slides include data on national health spending and affordability from the perspectives of consumers, employers, public and private payers, hospitals and health systems, and community partners. Use this data to further supplement your conversations on value with your employees, trustees and community leaders.

Arrow 10

4. Join our Efforts to Innovate

It is no secret that new and innovative solutions will be needed as the hospital and health system field makes the leap to value-based care and advances health across America. To assist you, the AHA has created a suite of innovation-focused offerings that will help you develop, test and refine new ideas. These include “boot camps,” where teams of hospital leaders solve challenges through innovative collaboration, trainings and expert coaching.

Arrow 11

5. Share Your Story

A large part of The Value Initiative’s work will be to help hospitals and health systems learn from each other. We would love to hear your hospital’s or health system’s unique and innovative approaches to implementing value-based strategies that redesign the delivery system, improve quality and outcomes, manage risk, offer new payment models and implement operational solutions. Please contact Priya Bathija at or 1-800-424-4301 to share your experiences.

Members in Action

AHA's Members in Action series highlights how hospitals and health systems are implementing new value-based strategies to improve health care affordability. This includes work to redesign the delivery system, manage risk and new payment models, improve quality and outcomes, and implemen...

Innovation-focused Resources to Assist You

It’s no secret that both health care delivery and financing are changing. Uncertainty around federal and state financing for key health programs, as well as advances in science, technology and information management; the introduction of new models of care; changes in consumer preference...

Affordability Advocacy Agenda

AHA will incorporate principles that promote improved value into our ongoing policy and advocacy activities.   Individuals, employers, government and payers are seeking greater value for their health care dollars. Concerns around the affordability of health care will only grow as...

Related Resources