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Physician decision making on new technologies and the role of coverage with evidence development

Felgner, Susanne; Ex, Patricia; Henschke, Cornelia

OBJECTIVES: To foster value-based pricing and coverage with evidence development in Germany, certain new diagnostic and treatment methods have been subject to a benefit assessment since 2016 to determine their reimbursement. Although this is a paradigm shift, the German approach is limited to some few specific technologies for which reimbursement is requested. As physicians encounter this regulatory instrument, the aim of the study was to understand physicians' decision making regarding the adoption of new medical technologies and to identify their perspectives on the evidence base and financing with additional reimbursement systems. METHODS: From April to August 2017, semistructured interviews with chief and senior physicians of vascular surgery and cardiology in inpatient care in Germany were conducted (N = 23). The interviews were carried out by one researcher in one-to-one appointments or via telephone. Data were analyzed inductively to identify factors and generate thematic categories using qualitative content analysis. RESULTS: We identified 52 factors in eight categories influencing physicians' adoption of new technologies. The evidence base for new technologies was criticized (e.g., lack of available studies). Physicians' knowledge of the regulation of market approval and innovation payments varied. They recommended the utilization of new technologies in certain specialist centers and the facilitation of observational studies. CONCLUSIONS: Physicians saw the need for the new approach and supported its aim. However, its design and implementation appeared to be questionable from their medical perspective. The provision of summarized information on the benefit of technologies might be a possibility to assist physicians' decision making.
Published in: Value in health, 10.1016/j.jval.2018.03.006, Elsevier
  • Published under a different title: Felgner, S., Ex, P., & Henschke, C. (2018). Physicians’ Decision Making on Adoption of New Technologies and Role of Coverage with Evidence Development: A Qualitative Study. Value in Health, 21(9), 1069–1076. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jval.2018.03.006