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The discussion platform at the Ministry of Health is beginning to bear fruit

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

In recent years, conflicts between VZP and suppliers have been escalating over the inclusion of separately charged material (ZUM) in the Reimbursement Catalogue VZP - ZP. While the disputed area of medical devices on voucher was resolved by a ruling of the Constitutional Court and the approval of new legislation in 2018, the area of ZUM has remained completely unremedied.

The disputes have been gradually escalating, with the latest news being the investigation of health insurers' practices by the Office for the Protection of Competition (ÚOHS), which focuses on the issue of equal conditions on the market as well as possible illegitimate interference with fair competition. VZP, in particular, has faced public criticism and is being urged to give the medical devices sector the priority it deserves.

Recent months show that the top management of VZP is beginning to reflect these appeals from the field. At the beginning of September, a separate medical devices department was created. At the same time, a department has been created to assess new innovative technologies and reimbursement of software enabling remote procedures, or disease management. It became clear that the VZP was serious about correcting the situation.

For the last six months or so, a discussion platform composed of representatives of the Ministry of Health itself, all health insurance companies, professional societies and associations of suppliers has been working at the Ministry of Health to describe the current most pressing problems in the regulation of medical devices and to try to find legislative and executive solutions. It was here that VZP announced some time ago that it was preparing a new methodology for the inclusion of medical devices in the Reimbursement Catalogue VZP - ZP. Its draft was then distributed on 12 September 2022, with the methodology expected to come into effect from the beginning of 2023.

On 21 September 2022, a key meeting was subsequently held at the Ministry of Health, where all parties had to clarify their views and try to find a compromise agreement on the "final" form of the base of the new system of ZUM classification. During the discussion, this was mostly successful, with the MoH confirming in writing its agreement on the new concept. VZP will now reflect all adjustments in the draft methodology. The final version should be fine-tuned at the next MoH meeting. We will keep you informed on further developments.

Author: Jakub Král


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