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Guidelines for helping save money on health technologies are updated

The HIQA guidelines help healthcare professionals determine the financial implications of new technology.

Image: Hospital via Shutterstock

HIQA IS LOOKING for the thoughts of healthcare decision-makers on its updated guidelines on the financial impact of health technologies.

With the HSE projecting a year-end deficit of €105 million in its most recent report, healthcare spending is being scrutinised.

Now HIQA has revised the national guidelines on the economic evaluation and budget impact analysis of health technologies, and has put them out for consultation.

It says that the guidelines outline the appropriate methods for evaluating the cost-effectiveness and budget impact of health technologies. This is to help healthcare decision makers to improve the accuracy of technology assessments and help to support decision making around allocation of funding for technologies.

Máirín Ryan, Director of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) at HIQA, explained to TheJournal.ie that the guidelines are for decision makers at all levels in the healthcare arena.

She said they will help them look at the financial implications of bringing in a new health technology – be it a new drug, new screening programme or device, for example. They can use the guidelines to assess the budget impacts and if it is good value compared to other interventions.

These national guidelines have been used since they were originally published in 2010 and are now being updated to reflect changes in methodology that have occurred in the last three years.

“In an era of austerity, it is of key importance that decisions to invest or disinvest in technologies and services are underpinned by evidence generated by solid methods,” said Ryan.

Crucially, these guidelines can help ensure the best outcome for the people using these services by examining the cost-effectiveness and financial impact of drugs, medical equipment, diagnostic techniques and health promotion activities.

The Authority is making the guidelines available for consultation, with organisations and individuals being asked to comment on them.

The closing date for comments is 13 December 2013 and more information can be found at www.hiqa.ie.

Read: GPs launch campaign for more resources as service on ‘brink of collapse’>

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