Remote monitoring of patients with pacemakers, defibrillators and related implanted electronic devices has several benefits: patients don’t have to schedule frequent appointments with care providers, thus improving quality of life, and it is cost effective, which heartens payers in these financially strapped times. And yet, uptake of the technology has been disappointing. To understand why, international consultancy PwC in cooperation with Eucomed and the European Heart Rhythm Association conducted research in five EU member states—Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The findings have been published in a white paper, Moving Towards Good Practice in the Reimbursement of CIED Telemonitoring, which can be downloaded free of charge.
The primary obstacle to more widespread use of cardiac implant electronic device (CIED) telemonitoring, the report notes, is an absence of appropriate reimbursement mechanisms. “With ever more budgetary pressure being put on healthcare systems, remote monitoring technology can help in keeping healthcare provision sustainable today, tomorrow and in the coming years,” notes Dr Martin Schloh, Partner at PwC, in a press release distributed by Eucomed. “What the research clearly shows is that the potential is there, but countries need to overcome the hurdles outlined in the white paper before we can fully realise the benefits of remote monitoring solutions.”
The white paper offers a number of country-specific recommendations to move forward the practice of CIED remote monitoring. The next step, according to the parties involved in this research, involves turning these recommendations into action items that will result in “fair, transparent and sustainable reimbursement systems.”Norbert Sparrow