German artificial heart project to aid reimbursement:
This article was originally published in Clinica
In an effort to increase awareness of new therapies developed to treat heart problems, the German medical device industry association, BVMed, has set up a new ventricular assist services/artificial heart project group, VAD/Kunstherz. Major aims of the group include introducing therapeutic possibilities to doctors and disseminating information to medical decision makers. "Numerous lives could thus be saved because there are not enough donor hearts available in Germany and almost a third of patients awaiting transplantation die before one becomes available," says the association. BVMed hopes that this initiative will speed up the entry of such therapies into the catalogue of reimbursable procedures under the new diagnosis related groups (DRG) system. A study recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology said that heart transplant patients who receive implantable mechanical heart pumps until donor hearts become available have a better chance of survival and lower post transplant death rates than those relying on medication.
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