Germany’s digital health reforms in the COVID-19 era: lessons and opportunities for other countries

Sara Gerke, Ariel D. Stern, Timo Minssen

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    23 Citations (SciVal)

    Abstract

    Reimbursement is a key challenge for many new digital health solutions, whose importance and value have been highlighted and expanded by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Germany’s new Digital Healthcare Act (Digitale–Versorgung–Gesetz or DVG) entitles all individuals covered by statutory health insurance to reimbursement for certain digital health applications (i.e., insurers will pay for their use). Since Germany, like the United States (US), is a multi-payer health care system, the new Act provides a particularly interesting case study for US policymakers. We first provide an overview of the new German DVG and outline the landscape for reimbursement of digital health solutions in the US, including recent changes to policies governing telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. We then discuss challenges and unanswered questions raised by the DVG, ranging from the limited scope of the Act to privacy issues. Lastly, we highlight early lessons and opportunities for other countries.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number94
    Journalnpj Digital Medicine
    Volume3
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Medicine (miscellaneous)
    • Computer Science Applications
    • Health Informatics
    • Health Information Management

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