Article originally posted on by Koushik Venkatanathan, Account Executive at Healthware International

Recently Germany has made strides in moving forward with their Digital Health Care Act in virtue to provide digital health applications with a reimbursement path. In May 2022, the KBV and GKV-SV agreed on updating clinicians’ fees for apps listed in provisional list for DiGAs and in June 2022 eligibly for being reimbursed by the DiPA (Digitaler Pflegeanwendungen) initiative was laid out.

One of the strategies listed by European commission titled “Europe’s Digital Decade: digital targets for 2030″ enumerates the priorities of EU states and envisages their digital future. Aligning with those values, the introduction of Digital Health Care Act by Germany laid down the path for access and reimbursement of Digital Health Apps in Germany.

DiGA and DiPA

Currently DiGA (Digitalen Gesundheitsanwendungen) is the framework to reimburse from statutory health insurance funds (SHI) for digital health applications approved by The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) in Germany. The system had 31 apps in the list by May 2022, some under a provisional list and some under a permanent list. The framework is a fast-track process of evaluation of the digital applications in 3 months based on requirements of data policy, safety and added benefits. The requester can be added to a provisional list or to the directory after an evaluation, which gives access to prescribe and reimburse the applications by doctors for the patients with government insurance (GKV).

DiPA is another framework by The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) in Germany. This framework is used for digital health apps to be applied for nursing and care giving for patients, especially impacting long term care. This initiative is aimed to assist home care and reduced the burden on nursing and care giving. Recently a framework for including digital applications in the directory under DiPA was released and the framework looks similar to DiGA framework but with differences on a few points. The reimbursement for the solutions has a cap of 50 Euros per month and any additional cost will be paid out of pocket by patients. The solutions will be enabled to the patients directly by the long-term insurer and the solutions need not be approved as a medical device to be listed in the directory.