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Timely access to innovative medical technologies driven by accelerated patient access pathways can substantially improve the health outcomes of patients who often have few therapeutic alternatives. We analyzed lead-times for the medical procedure reimbursement coverage process undertaken in South Korea from 2014 to 2017, which is considered one of the most important factors contributing to delays in patient access to new medical technologies.
This analysis was performed using the open datasets source of “Medical Procedure Expert Evaluation Committee (MPEEC)” meeting results and medical procedure coverage application information published on the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service Web site.
From 2014 to 2017, 90 percent of all new coverage determinations took on average >250 days with almost 20 percent taking more than 2 years (>750 days), The average lead-time from the medical procedure coverage application to MPEEC meeting in 2015 was 435.0 ± 214.7 days (n = 26), which was significantly shorter than the average lead-time in 2014 (624.9 ± 290.3 days, n = 16) (p < .05). The average lead-time from application to official enforcement in 2015 was significantly shorter than that of 2014 (540.8 ± 217.4; n = 16 versus 734.1 ± 299.7 days; n = 26, respectively) (p < .05).
While this analysis showed a general trend of a reduction in the time taken to receive a positive coverage determination for a new medical technology, the average lead-time remains well over the government mandated 100 days. To continue this trend and further enhance the patient access pathway for medical procedure coverage determinations, some measures can be applied. In particular, the extended “One-Stop Service” program encompassing coverage determinations is one such recommendation that could be considered.
Health Technology Assessment (HTA) considers the question of whether evaluated technologies are cost-effective in real world settings. As observed in HTA conducted by the Australian Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC), questions regarding the validity of data inputs to economic analyses that reflect real-world practice is a common reason for uncertainty on the cost effectiveness of new technologies. In addition to resource use and costs, there may be other uncertainties regarding the eligible patient population, patient management pathways and comparator selection. Our objective in this study was to present case studies from Australia where real world linked datasets could be better utilized to inform HTA conducted by the MSAC.
For selected therapy areas, assessment reports and public summary documents of HTA conducted by the MSAC published between January 2015 and November 2017 were reviewed. Our analysis identified HTAs where uncertainties around the inputs for health economic evaluations, as well as uncertainties in defining eligible patient numbers or current patient pathways of care were shown to exist. We then explored whether these uncertainties could have been addressed through real world linked datasets.
Our preliminary investigations identified two assessments: MSAC assessment of capsule endoscopy and transcatheter aortic valve implantation - where availability of real world linked data could have addressed uncertainties around the inputs required for the health economic evaluations.
Australia has a range of real world datasets with the potential to be used to inform HTA conducted by the MSAC. This can only be achieved if the datasets could be better linked and accessible for use by key stakeholders in the MSAC HTA process (e.g. industry, clinician, patient societies). Use of these data sets in HTA will enable timelier patient access to cost-effective technologies and more effective implementation and review of technologies after adoption into clinical practice.
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