Health Managers invited to comment on HTA guidelines

Revised national guidelines on the economic evaluation and budget impact analysis of health technologies have been launched for consultation by the Health Information and Quality Authority.

Dr. Tracey Cooper, Chief Executive, HIQA addresses the HMI Annual Conference 2012
Dr. Tracey Cooper, Chief Executive, HIQA

HIQA says the guidelines outline the appropriate methods for evaluating the cost-effectiveness and budget impact of health technologies. It says that applying the guidelines has the potential 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, said: “The economic evaluation and budget impact guidelines help to enhance the assessment of health technologies by promoting the production of assessments that are timely, reliable, consistent and relevant to the needs of decision makers and key stakeholders.”

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She said these national guidelines have been used widely 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.

“The guidelines provide clear and robust advice to people who produce HTAs, and to those who make decisions about funding technologies. 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.

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

“The Authority believes that these guidelines contribute to better technology assessment and help deliver safer better healthcare to the public. The Economic Guidelines support evaluations of the relative safety and efficacy of technologies and their related costs to inform decisions around their cost-effectiveness, that is, if the proposed benefits of the technology represent good value for money. The Budget Impact Analysis Guidelines enable decision makers to determine the impact of new or existing treatments on budgets and on the broader health and social care systems. 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 over the coming weeks. Following this consultation, HIQA will review all submissions received to inform the final content of the guidelines. The closing date for comments is December 13, 2013. The draft guidelines and information on taking part in the consultation can also be found at www.hiqa.ie.

The guidelines apply to HTA being conducted by, or on behalf of the Health Information and Quality Authority, the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics, the Department of Health, and the Health Service Executive (HSE), to include health technology suppliers preparing applications for reimbursement. The guidelines are intended to be applicable to all healthcare technologies, including medications, procedures, medical devices, and broader public health initiatives. They are relevant to the assessment of both new and existing healthcare technologies.