NEW APPROACHES for procuring Effective Healthcare Solutions

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Procurement of medical technology, done properly, and with an eye toward factors other than short-term price, can greatly enhance value and efficiency in the health care system. Procurement should thus emerge as a partner to innovation and value in ensuring sustainability, access and quality in the Irish health care system.

This report demonstrates how best practices are put to work at various stages of the innovative procurement process: from pre-procurement processes that are essential to maximize fairness and useful input to allow for the most up-to-date technologies and concepts of value to be utilized, to capturing adequately these concepts in technical specifications written by committees of end-users, to award and post-award processes that help to ensure flexibility and fairness. They also present a robust palette of policy choices to enable greater utilization of innovation procurement, to enhance outcomes and value and to identify where there are opportunities to procure for solutions rather than products. To achieve these objectives, we would encourage the adoption of the best practices outlined in this paper by all stakeholders.

Procurement can be a powerful tool that, when utilized properly, enhances value and innovation in the Irish Health care system. The goal of innovative procurement is to maximize public purchasing power to enable patients to receive the best, most cost-effective, life-saving and innovative treatments across all phases of health care. If utilized judiciously, procurement can be a tool to create efficiency and quality rather than just cut costs.

IMSTA view this paper as a further step in our commitment to support health care system performance, access, quality and sustainability and greater social and economic development. We continue to believe that the continued meaningful engagement between industry, policy makers and stakeholders holds the most promise for improving the Irish Health Care procurement processes and
to further enhance the value within the health care system.

Recommendations

Appoint Procurement Committees

Procurement Committees to oversee needs assessment, market engagement, specification generation and the most appropriate procurement processes are essential to maximize public purchasing power to enable patients to receive the best life-saving, most cost-effective and innovative treatments across all phases of health care. In most, if not all, cases a suitable key opinion leader (KOL) with clinical experience of using relevant technology should be appointed to chair a procurement committee.

Procurement committees should comprise multi-disciplinary teams which, in the vast majority of cases involving medical devices, will mean physicians, often including consultants and surgeons, biomedical / clinical engineering, medical scientists and other applied healthcare professional. In some cases other stakeholders and patient representatives should be consulted.

Standardise Medical Technology Evaluation
The broad diversity, rapid innovation cycle and unique nature of medical devices presents a challenge for gathering comparative clinical and health-economic data for all medical devices. While Health Technology Assessments (HTAs) are used by procuring authorities when sourcing medical technology, they may not always provide the data required at hospital, local or regional level.

Studies which examine costs and benefits only at hospital level may be commercially useful to the hospital but will necessarily address the impact on the broader healthcare system. Therefore, we recommend a multi-disciplinary Professional Evaluation Group be established, reporting to the Procurement Committee.

Facilitate and Adopt InnovationHarnessing innovation has the potential to improve the health, well-being and economic productivity of the population and slow the growth in the cost of care. Funding innovation through pre-commercial procurement is a tried and tested process which challenges industry to come up with solutions for identified healthcare problems. Developing a guide to commissioning for innovation of medical devices, linked to unmet health needs identified by the National Clinical

Programmes should be considered as a priority for the health service.

IMSTA welcomes new Minister & provides Report on how medical technology can save economy €1 billion

IMSTA, the association representing medical technology supply companies in Ireland, welcomed the new Minister for Health and provided him with an independent report on how medical technology improves patient healthcare, reduces in-patients hospital stays and can save the Government to €1 billion over the next 4 years.

IMSTA CEO, Mr. Justin Carty, said that the recently published industry report Investing in Medical Technology – Good for patients and Good for the economy clearly highlighted the important role the medical technology plays in improving healthcare and reducing costs.
“The Report calculates that €79 million annual savings can be achieved through the use of electronic patient records and a further €185 million can be saved every year in overall treatment costs. This can provide total savings of €264 million every year, which equates to over €1 billion in four years,” he said.
 
Two international speakers at the recent annual IMSTA conference provided delegates with information on how other EU States built innovation and technology into their health systems, contributing to better healthcare throughout the world.
 
Mr. Martyn Burke, University of York Health Economist told the conference that healthcare decision makers continued to be forced to make tough choices and health economics offered valuable information to decision makers to allow them to invest scarce resources efficiently.
“Using innovative medical technologies can potentially realise significant cost saving implications for health budgets. However this needs to be demonstrated in a manner consistent with reimbursement agencies’ requirements,” he said.

According to the Director, Innovative Technology Adoption Programme at the UK Department of Health, Mr. John Warrington, the UK public servants needed to find new innovation and technologies, talk to the industry, validate the results and savings claimed by the industry and prepare a plan for working with regions and the UK National Technology Adoption Centre (NTAC).
 

“Life sciences industries are critical in this regard and we needed to unlock innovation from industry. All stakeholders worked together and to date we have received 133 individual submissions from 74 manufacturers.

Some technologies compete with others, making it difficult to be precise about the available overall benefits, but ignoring double counting, manufacturers claim that up to fifty seven of these submissions offered £6bn in net efficiency benefits, and the top 22 account for £5.5bn of this total,” he explained.

IMSTA called on the new Government to draw on the UK experience and partner with this industry to ensure that the patients, the health system and the economy all benefit from the medical technology and jobs in the industry can be saved. 
 
Mr. Carty said that the medical technology supply industry in Ireland is currently under pressure from the HSE for price cuts of up 30%.

“Rather than improving healthcare, such requirements are affecting patient care and putting hundreds of jobs in the sector at risk,

“65% of IMSTA member companies are small companies supplying medical goods and services to the HSE. The demands for massive price cuts are not realistic,” he said. Medical technology includes much more than just supplying equipment. The package provided by these companies also includes substantial support services, staff education, training, health promotion and round the clock clinical and biomedical support for life saving equipment,” he explained.

IMSTA advises the Government to investment more in medical technology, which would result in better patient outcomes, would reduce healthcare costs in the longer term and would support growth and employment in the sector.

10% of total Irish exports, valued at €7 billion annually, are generated by the medical technology industry. The global industry is forecast to grow at 10% per annum over the next 5-6 years and the market size will approach £300bn by 2015.

 “Medical innovations, economic rewards and patient benefits do not just happen. Industrial policy is required to enable them to come to fruition. Insufficient Government support for the domestic market may threaten this opportunity and the substantial economic impact and patient benefits that could accrue. We have therefore made a number of important recommendations for Government action,” Mr Carty said.

The Irish medical technology industry currently employs 30,000 people mostly in high tech jobs. The sector generates sales close to €7 billion annually.

The Report shows that Ireland has the potential to become the location of choice for medical technology companies. In order to realise the potential, the Government must commit to investment in the industry and create a sustainable domestic market.

The report also discusses the role of medical technology and how the adoption of innovative technologies can improve patient outcomes and reduce overall treatment costs.

The medical technology (medtech) industry is responsible for the successful delivery of many aspects of everyday health care. Devices produced by the industry can be found in every GP’s office, hospital, health centre, ambulance and dentist office in the country.

IMSTA represents the medical technology supply industry in Ireland. Its’ member companies produce and market medical devices, diagnostic products and health information systems that are transforming health care through earlier disease detection, less invasive procedures and more effective treatments.

END

For full details of report see link below:
Investing in Medical Technology IMSTA Final 20 Jan 2011 (2)(1)

IMSTA Annual Industry Medtech Awards Ceremony & Dinner

Dr Rhona Mahony
The IMSTA Annual Industry Medtech Awards Ceremony & Dinner took place on Thursday 3rd October at the Aviva Stadium in Ballsbridge.

The event, sponsored this year by Toyota Ireland, was attended by 180 manufacturers, distributors, stakeholders, clinicians and representatives from the wider industry to celebrate the outstanding contribution made by companies and individuals to the development of better healthcare in Ireland. These much coveted awards are a tangible recognition of best practice and how initiatives generated by IMSTA members can have a very positive impact on patient outcomes. Toyota, being technological pioneers themselves, were keen to point out that IMSTA’s technical innovation culture is very close to their own core values.

The evening kicked off (pun intended) with a special guest appearance by Olympic, World and European Champion Katie Taylor at the welcome reception. Katie was very personable and happily mixed with guests before being interviewed by the MC for the evening, Today FM’s Anton Savage. She gave a sparkling display, as ever.

The keynote speaker was the dynamic and much sought after Dr Rhona Mahony, Master of the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street. Dr Mahony started off by bringing the audience back to 1963 and the birth of JFK and Jacqueline Kennedy’s son Patrick, who sadly didn’t survive a slightly premature birth compared with today’s survival rates for babies born as early as 16 weeks premature, i.e. at 24 weeks gestation. With the building of a new National Maternity Hospital on the St Vincent’s University Hospital campus in Elm Park immanent, Dr Mahony was well positioned to share with the audience her vision of what health care for the mother and baby could look like in the future. She explained that even today babies can be operated on in the womb and drugs can be administered to the foetus to assist specific organ development to improve the baby’s chances of survival after birth. Dr Mahony referred to the widely held expectation that genomic studies will lead to advances in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, and to new insights in many fields of biology, including human evolution. She painted a picture where the next generation will keep their own genomic material in their fridge at home. She had everyone spellbound and was an excellent choice as keynote speaker.

Alan Markey, Chair of IMSTA, referred to Katie Taylor’s singular focus on success and Rhona Mahony’s vision of the future when describing the current environment for medical technology goods and service providers. He said that IMSTA is an innovation driven industry and the commercialisation of this innovation in Ireland is critical to improved patient outcomes. He said IMSTA’s mission as a trade association, is to promote the benefits of medical technology and ensure that patients in Ireland have access to the most clinically and cost effective medical technologies available. Innovative products and services have the potential to significantly lower treatment costs.

“The application of innovative medical technology facilitates earlier diagnosis, reduces hospital stays, lowers infection rates, shortens rehabilitation times etc., but it has been a challenge to quantify this in terms of healthcare spend – perhaps because treatment costs are not that transparent spread across so many different budget holders.”

Mr Markey believes that significant benefits can be realised by focusing cost containment efforts on treatment pathways and patient outcomes instead of focusing on the products and suppliers.

“Industry must continue to innovate, to redesign, to find new, more efficient and more effective ways that will ensure a continuous improvement in patient care”. “But we can’t do this in isolation. It’s time for industry to be seen as a strategic partner in healthcare delivery. It’s time for government to realise the wealth of knowledge and experience industry can bring to the table. This is the Future of our Industry and the awards are but a small example of the contribution IMSTA member companies make on a daily basis to healthcare delivery in Ireland.”

He looked forward to greater collaboration between industry and government to realise the full potential that medtech suppliers can bring to health care delivery.

Award winners this year included Bernard Collins, who was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to Industry Award in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to the development of the biomedical industry in Ireland. The Most Innovative Product was won by Medtronic Ireland for its Interstim Therapy; Best Improvement in Patient Safety Award was won by Synthes/J&J for its tracking solution for orthopaedic loan sets; Health Promotion Award was won by the Cardiac Services/SISK training and education team; and Best Service Company was won by Oxygen Care for their premium after sales service and support network. Finally, Community and Social Awareness Award (CSR) was won by Mark Keating, Whitewater, who is currently on a solo charity cycle from Dublin to Belgrade and back, approx. 6,000 km, to help the lives of the very sick children both here in Ireland and in the former Yugoslavia. More details of the Award Winners are on the IMSTA website www.imsta.ie.