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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


ARTELLS, Juan José; PEIRO, Salvador  and  MENEU, Ricard. Barriers for Introducing a Health Technology Assessment Organization to Inform Health Care Decision-Making in the Spanish National Health System. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2014, vol.88, n.2, pp.217-231. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background: To identify difficulties, obstacles and limitations to establish an organizational structure devoted to the evaluation of healthcare technologies for incorporation, maintenance or removal from the services portfolio of the Spanish National Health System (sNHS). Methods: Panel of 14 experts, structured according to processes adapted from brainstorming, nominal group, and Rand consensus method techniques. Results: The panel proposed 77 items as potential obstacles to the establishment of an official and independent "agency" able to inform on sNHS healthcare benefits funding or selective disinvestment. These items were focused on: 1) lack of political motivation to introduce the cost-effectiveness analysis from the state and regional governments and lack of independence and transparency of the evaluation processes, 2) the tension between a decentralized health system and evaluation activities with significant scale economies, 3) technical difficulties of the evaluation processes, including their ability to influence decision making and 4) social and professional refusal to the exclusion of healthcare benefits when it is perceived as indiscriminate. Conclusions: Although there is a different number and type of obstacles for developing the capacity of the sNHS to include or exclude healthcare benefits based on the evaluation of their effectiveness and efficiency, experts place in the political arena (political motivation, transparency, governance) the main difficulties to advance in this field.

Keywords : Health Policy; Technology Assessment; Decision Making; Organizational; Health Care Rationing; Group Processes.

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