Healthcare insurance indemnities for osteoarthritis therapies with hyaluronic acid
The German Federal ‘Medizinproduktegesetz’ (Legislation governing medical devices) was introduced to simplify the statutory requirements for the handling of medical devices, in Germany in 1995. After the introduction of the legislation, injection preparations for the treatment of osteoarthritis with hyaluronic acid were no longer classed as ‘pharmaceuticals’. Healthcare insurers thus deem medical devices as a primarily physical interaction (e.g. in the case of Crespine Gel, ‘the lubrication of joint cartilages by way of a gel implant), on the other hand pharmaceuticals as such is deemed to have a pharmacological effect (put simply this means ‘an interaction with a bodily substance’).
Since this governmental change in statutory allocation, injection therapy with hyaluronic acid for osteoarthritis is no longer included in the healthcare medication budget. The statutory healthcare insurers are thus no longer obliged to indemnify for the consumption of medical registered products.
Before the Legislation governing medical devices was introduced, the costs of gonosteoarthritis treatment (knee-joint osteoarthritis) by means of hyaluronic acid was indemnified by healthcare insurers; primarily because the treatment tended to delay an impending knee-joint operation.
The costs of a joint operation are only partially indemnified by the healthcare insurers. The significance of medical devices for the public healthcare system from the aspect of cost-savings, is therefore quite obvious.
Private healthcare insurance will usually indemnify the costs of a treatment of osteoarthritis conditions in joints with hyaluronic acid.. Patients should therefore clarify the attitude of their healthcare insurers, in advance of treatment.