Reimbursement Coverage and Pricing Systems for Single-Use Devices in Asia-Pacific- Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and Australia Compared


In Asia-Pacific countries, as elsewhere, medical device expenditures account for only between 3% and 6% of total health care spending per capita. Yet the contribution of medical devices is essential to delivering improved clinical and economic benefits for patients and health care systems, respectively. We briefly report a selective overview of reimbursement coverage and pricing systems for single-use devices (SUDs) in Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and Australia, major Asia-Pacific markets with diverse health care systems but similar challenges. Generally speaking, all four health systems are similar in their framework for managing the coverage and reimbursement of SUDs, which are usually bundled into the overall fee designated for a surgical procedure; however, funding guidelines are unclear and decision-making processes opaque. Unfortunately, this inequitable situation encourages both the dangerous practice of reuse of devices and the imposition of additional out-of-pocket costs on patients. Reimbursement pathways in all four countries need to evolve to accommodate new methods of delivering health care, with fair decision-making processes for reimbursement coverage and pricing, which assess the overall value of medical devices, including SUDs, in terms of health outcomes and/or safety.


Sang-Soo Lee Doug Symonds Sachiko Kamogawa Mitsunobu Sato Emily Chiang Eugene Salole

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