Health technology assessment (HTA)

Health technology assessment (HTA) involves the systematic evaluation of medical procedures and technologies. HTA is widely regarded as an important tool for evidence-based policy advice and policymaking.

Among the health policy priorities defined in the Federal Council’s Health2030 strategy are the strengthening of medical services and the exertion of influence on cost development. HTA provides a transparent analysis of the efficacy, appropriateness and cost-effectiveness of a medical service. The results can help to ensure that mandatory reimbursement is limited or terminated for services which are not effective or cost-effective. Restricting such services improves the quality and reduces the costs of healthcare.

In order to evaluate medical services, the federal authorities launched an HTA programme. The legal basis of this programme is Article 32 of the Federal Health Insurance Act (KVG; SR 832.10), which specifies that medical services covered by compulsory health insurance must meet the criteria of effectiveness, appropriateness and economic efficiency. Compliance with these criteria is to be periodically reviewed.

The HTA programme focuses in particular on the re evaluation of services which may not meet the relevant criteria. The aim is to eliminate such services from the List of Reimbursable Items or to restrict mandatory reimbursement. In addition, the HTA programme evaluates services which are not currently reimbursable.

Each year, under the HTA programme, we select topics for which, through a systematic process, HTA reports are produced by external contractors. Engagement with national and international HTA networks ensures that the methods employed are continuously adapted to the latest standards. The HTA reports, which support evidence-based policymaking, are published on the HTA projects page.

Last modification 24.11.2023

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Health insurance benefits Division
Health Technology Assessment Section
Schwarzenburgstrasse 157
3003 Bern
Tel. +41 58 469 17 33

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