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This page contains a list of value-based healthcare books that I’ve read and that, in my opinion, help in clarifying my vision on sustainable and better population health. I hope this list serves as a companion for everyone who wants to read more about value-based healthcare.

Are you curious why I’m passionate about value-based care? Read this article.

Value-base healthcare books

Redefining Health Care: Creating Value-based Competition on Results by Michael E. Porter and Elizabeth Olmsted Teisberg (2006)

This book clarifies why the famous Harvard University professor Michael E. Porter, best known for his five forces model, became interested in solving the biggest challenge of healthcare: how to become financially sustainable over time. An excellent book if you want to understand why value-based healthcare was developed.

Redefining German Health Care: Moving to a Value-Based System by Michael E. Porter and Clemens Guth (2012)

Many books about value-based healthcare are based on a US context. Although value-based healthcare is a generic model that can be applied in every healthcare system, limited publications in the early years created the impression that the model could only work in the US healthcare system or very similar systems. Porter and Guth have demonstrated that the concept of value-based healthcare also works in a very different healthcare system like in Germany.

Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing: A Simpler and More Powerful Path to Higher Profits by Robert S. Kaplan and Steven R. Anderson (2007)

Time-driven activity-based costing or TDABC seems to have little to do with healthcare. But when we look at the value-based healthcare equation, there clearly is a costing element. That’s why the book with the concept of TDABC is in this list. Kaplan worked with Porter to develop a method to address costing in a complex system as healthcare. Although there are many different costing methods, TDABC is probably the best method for healthcare improvements.

HBR’s 10 Must reads

HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Leadership in Healthcare with an introduction by Thomas H. Lee (2018)

An small book with eleven Harvard Business Review articles on leadership in healthcare with articles by Jim Collins, John P. Kotter, Robert S. Kaplan and Thomas H. Lee. This book focusses on leadership with links to value-based healthcare.

HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Strategy for Healthcare (featuring articles by Michael E. Porter and Thomas H. Lee, MD) (2018)

If you are not a reader and want to learn about healthcare strategy, then please pick this book. It contains ten articles from Harvard Business Review that clarify the need for competition in healthcare (Leemore S. Dafny and Thomas H. Lee), the five forces (Michael E. Porter), blue ocean strategy (W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne) and the value agenda (Michel E. Porter and Thomas H. Lee). Therefore, this book should be mandatory for healthcare administrators and board members of healthcare related organisations.

Health systems books

Systems Thinking for Health Systems Strengthening by World Health Organisation (2009)

When reading this book, it does not feel like your are reading a book. The thick paper and the large font make it feel like reading a brochure. Don’t judge this book by its looks. It provides a good overview of modern healthcare systems thinking. In a couple of hours, you are able to grasp the basics about the concepts of healthcare systems thinking.

Social Work and Integrated Care (Student Social Work) by Robin Miller (2019)

In this book Robin Miller provides a clear insight in the interaction between social work and the different forms of integrated care. In the last two chapters of the book, Miller explains how to integrate social work and care in a step by step process.

Healthcare finance books

Health Care Finance: Basic Tools for Nonfinancial Managers by Judith J. Baker, R.W. Baker and Neil R Dworkin (2018)

If you are a manager in healthcare and finance and accounting are synonyms for the department handling the money in your organisation, then this book is exactly what you need to better understand why budgeting and cost controlling are essential tools to allow clinicians to excel at their job.

Financieel beleid voor ziekenhuizen Katrien Kesteloot and Gustaaf Van Herck (2015)

A book that clearly explains how the financing of the Belgian hospitals works. It’s a rather technical book with a lot of accounting details. If you want to know more about the hospital financing and accounting in Belgium, then this is definitely a must read.

Governance in healthcare

Gewoon anders: een vurig pleidooi voor een ongewone gang van zaken by Marc Noppen (2021)

In this book Marc Noppen, the CEO of the university hospital of Brussels, shares his experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, he also provides his insights about the Belgian healthcare system.

Healthcare innovation books

Health Design Thinking: Creating Products and Services for Better Health (The MIT Press) by Bon Ku and Ellen Lupton (2020)

Design thinking in healthcare is still relatively new. Therefore, applying methodologies from other sectors is sometimes a bit challenging. In this book, the authors managed to find a good balance between explaining the principles and methods to apply design thinking and using it in different healthcare environments. The second part of the book is use cases. If you want to use design thinking as a tool to boost innovation in healthcare but don’t know how to start, this is the book you need.

Healthcare strategy books

Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim

Although this is a book on general strategy, I can warmly recommend this book. The essence of the book is already in the title. How do you create uncontested market space, and how do you make competition irrelevant? These concepts also apply to healthcare. How do you differentiate as a healthcare provider? Providing the best care you can give is something every provider want to do for their patient. Kim makes you start thinking about your healthcare strategy.


If you have any suggestions, don’t hesitate to add them in the comments. If I have not read the book, I’ll try to do so as soon as possible.

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