THE CENTER FOR

Professionalism & Value
In Health Care

Health care in the United States is going through stormy changes that threaten health professionals’ wellbeing and the public’s trust. The ways in which health care professionals are currently measured and valued often work against the behaviors and relationships that patients want and expect from their providers. The Center for Professionalism & Value in Health Care (CPV) aims to study relationships between professionalism and value, promote their alignment, recommend ways to reduce burden, and better support outcome and quality improvement.

The Social Contract for Health Care is a set of commitments between health professions and the public which specifies professions’ obligations in return for the privileges afforded by society. Unfortunately, over the past decade, the Social Contract has begun to fray and the public’s faith in the health professions is waning. At the same time, dozens of state and national medical societies have launched legislative and judicial challenges to the utility of board certification, whose key component, self-regulation, is one of the most important obligations of the Social Contract. Furthermore, most health professionals are now employed by health systems, insurance companies, and even hedge funds, which can confuse or threaten the trusted, healing relationships that patients expect. Due to this environment and the fear of a continual breakdown in the Social Contract, the American Board of Family Medicine and it supporting foundation created the Center for Professionalism & Value in Health Care.

The ABFM’s investment in the CPV, and the way in which it has been launched, is designed to open its capacity to address issues of professionalism and value beyond family medicine, and even beyond medicine. When successful, it will have a variety of partners helping to shape both the public’s and the provider’s understanding of the Social Contract as well as policies that better support its success.

THE CENTER FOR

Professionalism & Value
In Health Care

Health care in the United States is going through stormy changes that threaten health professionals’ wellbeing and the public’s trust. The ways in which health care professionals are currently measured and valued often work against the behaviors and relationships that patients want and expect from their providers. The Center for Professionalism & Value in Health Care (CPV) aims to study relationships between professionalism and value, promote their alignment, recommend ways to reduce burden, and better support outcome and quality improvement.

The Social Contract for Health Care is a set of commitments between health professions and the public which specifies professions’ obligations in return for the privileges afforded by society. Unfortunately, over the past decade, the Social Contract has begun to fray and the public’s faith in the health professions is waning. At the same time, dozens of state and national medical societies have launched legislative and judicial challenges to the utility of board certification, whose key component, self-regulation, is one of the most important obligations of the Social Contract. Furthermore, most health professionals are now employed by health systems, insurance companies, and even hedge funds, which can confuse or threaten the trusted, healing relationships that patients expect. Due to this environment and the fear of a continual breakdown in the Social Contract, the American Board of Family Medicine and it supporting foundation created the Center for Professionalism & Value in Health Care.

The ABFM’s investment in the CPV, and the way in which it has been launched, is designed to open its capacity to address issues of professionalism and value beyond family medicine, and even beyond medicine. When successful, it will have a variety of partners helping to shape both the public’s and the provider’s understanding of the Social Contract as well as policies that better support its success.

Key aims of our work are:

  • Testing the state of the social contract between health professionals and the public

  • To identify relationships between burnout, shame and professionalism

  • To assess growing commoditization of health professionals and the impact on professionalism

  • To understand alignment between how value is measured and paid for and professionalism

  • To call out expectations of health professionals to routinely sacrifice well-being or financial solvency

  • To explore interprofessional understandings of professionalism

Latest Publications

July/August 2019

Utilizing PHATE: A Population Health–Mapping Tool to Identify Areas of Food Insecurity
Jonathan Lichkus, MD, MPH
Winston R. Liaw, MD, MPH
Robert L. Phillips, MD, MSPH
Read the publication

May/June 2019

A New Comprehensive Measure of High-Value Aspects of Primary Care
Rebecca S. Etz, PhD
Stephen J. Zyzanski, PhD
Martha M. Gonzalez
Sarah R. Reves, MSN, FNP
Jonathan P. O’Neal
Kurt C. Stange, MD, PhD
Read the publication

February 2019

Association of Primary Care Physician Supply With Population Mortality in the United States, 2005-2015
Sanjay Basu, MD, PhD
Seth A. Berkowitz, MD, MPH
Robert L. Phillips, MD, MSPH
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Nov/Dec 2018

Higher Primary Care Physician Continuity is Associated With Lower Costs and Hospitalizations
Andrew Bazemore, MD, MPH
Stephen Petterson, PhD
Lars E. Peterson, MD, PhD
Richard Bruno, MD, MPH,
Yoonkyung Chung, PhD
Robert L. Phillips Jr, MD, MSPH
Read the full publication

May/June 2015

More Comprehensive Care Among Family Physicians is Associated with Lower Costs and Fewer Hospitalizations
Andrew Bazemore, MD, MPH1
Stephen Petterson, PhD
Lars E. Peterson, MD, PhD
Robert L. Phillips Jr, MD, MSPH
Read the publication