THE PROBLEM OF REIMBURSEMENT FOR SINGLE-USE DEVICES IN ASIA-PACIFIC COUNTRIES

Seoul, South Korea – In Asia-Pacific countries, as elsewhere, less than 6% of total health care spending per capita is on medical devices, though these technologies often make critical contributions to the delivery of clinical and economic benefits to both patients and healthcare systems.

As described in the article, “Reimbursement Coverage and Pricing Systems for Single-Use Devices in Asia-Pacific: Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and Australia Compared,” published in Value in Health Regional Issues Volume 6 focusing on Asia, the authors selectively overview the reimbursement coverage and pricing systems for single-use devices (SUDs) in major Asia-Pacific markets.

The authors point out that though diverse in policy and practice, all four health systems are similar in their approach in managing the coverage and reimbursement of SUDs. The common problem is that SUDs are usually bundled into the overall fees for surgical procedures, without any consideration of their value; in addition, funding guidelines are often unclear and decision-making processes opaque. The authors conclude that the reimbursement pathways in all four countries need to evolve to accommodate new methods of delivering healthcare, with fair policies and decision-making processes for the reimbursement and pricing of medical devices, including SUDs, in terms of health outcomes and overall value.

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