The NHS Long Term Plan was designed to improve the future of the NHS and this comprehensive plan includes making changes to how treatments will be paid for. With big changes on the horizon, it is important to consider how MedTech funding may be different in the future.
The plan sets out to move away from activity-based payments towards population-based funding. The goal is to move towards a blended payment system model which will cover all services. This is in order to support the development of integrated care systems, which aim for closer collaboration between NHS organisations, local councils and other partners.
Systems will be allocated funding to meet the cost of delivering services through their Clinical Commissioning Groups. This will incorporate previous ‘sustainability funding’ and will need to breakeven within resources.
Blended payments are designed to support health care systems in managing their financial resources. They consist of a fixed element, based on forward-looking forecasts of activity, and at least one or more of the following:
• A quality or outcomes based element (aligned to long term objectives)
• A risk sharing based element (financial or activity)
• A variable payment (setting prices for each unit of activity, either agreed marginal cost or full cost).
Essentially, blended payments are designed as a flexible framework, to allow for a range of payment approaches to be combined, giving greater freedoms for how hospitals spend their money.
You can find out more about blended payments here.
Theoretically, this change in payment system will give hospitals more flexibility in where they can decide to spend their money, as long as they are serving the population and not losing money. This could mean that hospitals will become more open to hearing about how new technologies could benefit both patients and the hospital as a whole, as well as being cost-effective and money-saving.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, the number of patients waiting for elective treatments has reached record highs. Hospitals are under more pressure than ever before, so they must look for new, innovative ways to improve care. This means that medical devices have a better chance of being funded by the NHS, as long as they can show that they will be valuable in relieving pressures, financially and in terms of standards of care.
When considering funding new technology, hospitals need to know that it is worth the investment. Understanding the hospital pressures and waiting list volumes is paramount in being able to offer new products that help hospitals with operational gains – treating more patients, increasing day case rates, and reducing the enormous waiting list caused by Covid-19.
Device Access can assist you on your MedTech NHS adoption journey as we have access to individual waiting list volumes by speciality and by hospital. We can help you to see where your technology is needed the most, and with this information you can better engage with hospitals and become a solution provider.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We have helped over 40 companies to achieve recommendation from the National Institute of Care and Health Excellence (learn more about how NICE recommendation can help you here) and every day we are helping new companies on their NHS MedTech adoption journey, getting great technologies to patients faster.