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470 Million RUV Invested and 154 Medical Categories Added or Revised in 2021 to Protect Public Health.

  As medical technologies improve, it becomes necessary to fulfill actual needs of clinical care to reasonably reflect the hard work of medical personnel. For this reason, the NHI continues to allocate budgets for adding and revising medical service items. In 2021, joint committees were convened to formulate the NHI Fee Schedule and Reference List for Medical Services, during which 154 medical service items were newly added or revised and 470 million medical points were invested.

  As medical technologies rapidly improves, thoracoscopic and laparoscopic surgeries have also become increasingly sophisticated as to cause only small wounds and little bleeding during the process. Currently, they are widely used in clinical practice. Having reviewed the opinions of various medical specialty associations, the NHIA added 95 thoracoscopic or laparoscopic surgery items, including "esophagogastric tube reconstruction via thoracoscopy (laparoscopy)" on November 1, 2021, thus providing patients with an alternative. It is estimated that 240 million medical points will be added to the category, making it the category with the largest budget this year.

  In response to the needs for COVID-19 treatment and the hard work of critical care personnel, international experience and evidence have shown that "humidified high-flow oxygen therapy" and "prone ventilation therapy" are effective treatment methods. On December 1, 2021, the NHIA added the "humidified high-flow oxygen therapy" which covers 6,000 payment points the fee for first-day care, including that of special tubing materials, and 1,937 points for daily care from the second day onwards; children can have an extra 20% of payment points. In addition, to improve the efficiency of oxygen exchange in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), the Joint Committee held on 9th agreed to add the "prone ventilation therapy" category to reduce the time of using ventilators and oxygen. These three items increase medical points by approximately 152 million, thus making critical care under the NHI more comprehensive.

  In addition, many examination items were also added or revised in 2021, thus helping doctors to diagnose diseases early. A total of approximately 50 million medical points have been added.

  Director General of NHIA Po-Chang Lee pointed out that, as the NHI reform continues, benefits of patients is of the utmost importance. In the future, the NHI will work together with medical groups, experts, and payer representatives to progressively reform payment standards, so that medical service providers can receive reasonable benefits for their services and improve the existing medical environment, thereby providing better medical services for the public.

  • Date:2021-12-09