HTAI summit examines disinvestment and the most cost-effective ways to manage current health technology
The Annual Meeting of Health Technology Assessment International HTAi continues today in Bilbao with an agenda focused on the most cost-effective ways to improve technology optimization processes and to enhance system efficiency. The summit has attracted 1300 attendees from all over the world at Euskalduna Conference Centre and Concert Hall. HTAi Congress addresses medical attention of the future, the most outstanding innovations in this field and its integration in patient health oriented systems.
The three day meeting examines today disinvestment and the most cost-effective ways to manage current health technology in a plenary session called ‘HTA, the road from Investment to Disinvestment ‘chaired by Iñaki Gutiérrez Ibarluzea, chairman of the HTAi-ISG on disinvestment of technologies of low-added value. Participating the following keynote speakers: Dr. Adam Elshaug, health services and policy researcher at Harvard Medical School, Chris Henshall Chair of the HTAi Policy Forum, Dr. Jackie Street, senior Lecturer in the School of Population Health and Clinical Practice at the University of Adelaide, South Australia and Dr. Josep Piqué, CEO of Hospital Clinic, Barcelona.
The experts gathered today to discuss what mechanisms exist to determine disinvestment, what the difficulties are in implementing it and whether decisions can be made in a timely fashion. This plenary session also raised the issue whether the savings that are generated from it, both in health outcomes and actual cost, can be readily moved to a new and more effective form of health care that may be taking its place. The challenges that exist in different geographical regions to support disinvestment made a valuable part of this plenary.
Iñaki Gutiérrez Ibarluzea, chairman of the HTAi-ISG, delivered the message that in this top issue ́there is room for improvement ́ and came up with a new word for disinvestment `re-engineering ́ as the term disinvestment is often unhelpful and raises hostility. Mr. Gutitérrez Ibarluzea talked about four different perspectives: methods and experiences to perform disinvestment, stakeholders involvement, role of HTA in disinvestment processes in hospitals and the conclusions of the Policy Forum.
Dr. Adam Elshaug, health services and policy researcher at Harvard Medical School, showed several case studies where effectiveness is lower than the cost.
Dr. Jackie Street, senior Lecturer in the School of Population Health and Clinical Practice at the University of Adelaide, emphasized the need of including public and patient voices in disinvestment decision making. Dr. Street raised questions such us: when patients and public voices should be included? And which methods and strategies will be useful? This speaker quoted some case studies such as cataract surgery or assisted reproductive technologies. Citizens and patients voice is valuable when there are strong beliefs in the community or the technology is highly valued.
Dr. Josep Piqué, CEO of Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, talked about `optimizing innovations under crisis environment in health economy ́. Dr. Pique said that ́ growing efficiency measures will allow to preserve activity and to prevent further need of wages cutting ́. It is very important to implement changes on business model in healthcare.
Chris Henshall, Chair HTAi Policy Forum, pointed out the importance of the HTAi role for planned disinvestment in both public and private sector members. Global financial crisis is beginning to have significant impact on health care expenditure in many countries ́, he added.
HTAi announced today Pr. David Banta as the winner of the HTAi Distinguished Career Award. This U.S. Professor was one of the founders of the International Society for Technology Assessment in Health Care.
Tomorrow, the last session of the 3 day meeting, will tackle the topic of the challenges of telemedicine in a plenary titled ‘HTA and ICTs can they interface?’