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01.12.2017 | Opinion | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Health Research Policy and Systems 1/2017

Evidence-based decision-making for diagnostic and therapeutic methods: the changing landscape of assessment approaches in Germany

Health Research Policy and Systems > Ausgabe 1/2017
Britta Olberg, Sabine Fuchs, Katja Matthias, Alexandra Nolting, Matthias Perleth, Reinhard Busse


This article examines the current status and most important changes over time to the legislative framework on the health technology assessment-informed decision-making process on diagnostic and therapeutic ‘methods’ in Germany. The relevant information was obtained through documentary analysis covering the period 1990 to 2017. The findings show that, even if the outpatient care sector appears to be much more regulated than the inpatient sector (based on a strict separation of the two care settings), developments in Germany have led to a more tightened assessment framework, making the use of evidence a firm component in the decision-making process. Nevertheless, a comprehensive approach for a systematic assessment of diagnostic and therapeutic ‘methods’ still does not exist. Readjustments of current regulations in Germany, such as the existing ‘Verbotsvorbehalt’ (i.e. provision of a diagnostic and therapeutic ‘method’ possible unless actively delisted) in the inpatient care setting, as well as further developments at the European level are needed in order to create a system that ensures early access to innovation under controlled study conditions.
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