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Cost-effective reimbursement analysis for medical technologies in Europe

Procedure coding, payment mechanism, reimbursement tariffs, policy, and HTA considerations in 34 EU countries

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Reimbursement summary for angioplasty of arteries of lower extremities

This post presents an extract from our reimbursement analysis for angioplasty of arteries lower extremities using plain and drug-coated balloons (DCBs) for peripheral artery disease in England, France and Germany. Plain balloon angioplasty is reimbursement via DRG solely and DCBs are reimbursement via combination of DRG and add-on reimbursement.
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Women's health hubs to be established in England by the end of 2024

In 2022, the Department of Health and Social Care published the Women's Health Strategy for England, which sets out our 10-year ambitions for boosting the health and well-being of women and girls. Among others, the strategy encourages the expansion of women's health hubs across the country to improve access to services and health outcomes. Establishing the women's health hubs is supported by £25 million in funding (£595,000 for each Integrated Care Board, ICB).

In March 2024, DHSC published core specifications for women's health hubs, providing definitions, aims, types of hub models, services, and pathways. The key statements are provided below:

  • Women's health hubs bring together healthcare professionals and existing services to provide integrated women's health services in the community, centered on meeting women's needs across the life course;
  • The hub models must be tailored to local population needs;
  • Core services to bring into a hub model include menstrual problems assessment and treatment, provision of the full range of contraceptive methods, breast pain assessment and care, cervical cancer screening, and screening/treatment for sexually transmitted infections; 
  • There are multiple other areas of women's health where some or all elements of the care pathway could also be built into a hub model. The specific services will vary depending on the population's health needs, the existing setup of services, and workforce skills. Some areas for consideration are incontinence care, pelvic organ prolapse care, outpatient diagnostic and/or treatment procedures, including but not limited to ultrasound, hysteroscopy, biopsy and colposcopy, fertility assessment and advice, breast screening and referral into breast cancer pathways, osteoporosis assessment, and care, for example, DEXA (bone density) scanning;
  • The hubs are not a replacement for primary care or secondary care. Primary care should remain the first point of contact for most women seeking non-emergency healthcare. Secondary care should provide specialist services where that is required. Similarly, hubs are not hospital outpatient services, as this would not align with the principle of bringing care closer to home for most women;

The 2024/25 operational planning guidance by NHS England asked local commissioners, Integrated Care Boards (ICBs), to establish at least one women's health hub in every ICB area by the end of 2024. In April 2024, NHS England published guidance for ICBs providing further requirements for women's health hubs:

  • By the end of July 2024, at least one hub in each ICB must be operational and providing at least two core services from the core specification;
  • By the end of December 2024, at least one hub in each ICB is operational and provide all core services from the core specification. If the hub can provide most services virtually, the ICB would need to ensure some level of in-person provision to deliver the core services, e.g., cervical screening tests or long-acting reversible contraception fitting and removal. Each hub does not have to cover the entire population of the ICB.

See the full details here (guidance) and here (core specification).

This news is just one of about 300 market access news collected by our team in the premium subscription service Market Access Monitor every week from more than 80 organizations. Access our paid service to stay on top of all developments specifically for your products in Europe (reimbursement news) and globally (HTA news). Access is organized as an online Database and email alert formats. Contact us to get a free, three-month, no-obligation trial.