Aug 29, 2012

European Union regulators must develop a robust country-level reimbursement framework for remote monitoring of cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIED), according to a new whitepaper by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) and Eucomed.

Investigating current reimbursement practices (or lack thereof) for CIED monitoring devices in Germany, the UK, Italy and The Netherlands, whitepaper authors have issued three high-level recommendations for industry, healthcare providers and patients:

  1. The CIED industry should develop connectivity options and other initiatives to minimize investment hurdles for setting up remote monitoring infrastructures.
  2. Healthcare providers should more strongly promote the benefits of CIED telemonitoring—better clinical outcomes, cost-effectiveness and improved quality of life.
  3. Patients should be more willing to utilize remote rather than face-to-face follow-up procedures.

Proper reimbursement for CIED remote monitoring technologies and procedures are of course also necessary, argue the whitepaper authors, but must be implemented on national rather than EU-wide levels. No substantial national policies currently exist to reimburse healthcare services or hardware costs related to remote monitoring—hardly an incentive for more widespread development and implementation of such technologies in European markets.

Eucomed, EHRA and other proponents of CIED remote monitoring have made the right arguments here, but changing European medical device reimbursement practices on a country-by-country basis will take serious work. 


  • Stewart Eisenhart