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18-01-2024

The health insurance funds will pay for two modern surgical devices

By decision of the Compulsory Health Insurance Council, it was decided to compensate two innovative medical aids from the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund, they will help hospital doctors perform highly complex surgical operations, informs the National Health Insurance Fund under the Ministry of Health (NHIF).

From 1 February 2024, two new medical aids will be centrally reimbursed by the health insurance funds to medical institutions providing inpatient tertiary paediatric and adult surgery services. One of them is personalized surgical instruments, guides for surgeries of patients with oncological bone diseases. Only orthopaedic-traumatologists and surgical oncologists will be able to plan and anticipate the need for these tools before surgery.

Personalized surgical guides are single-use medical means, designed and made to order for a specific patient. 3D printed guides help the surgeon to avoid inaccuracies during surgery and to perform the procedure exactly as planned. When applying this method, not only the surgery is facilitated but patient’s healthy tissues are preserved as well, duration of a procedure is shortened and the risk for complications is decreased, and virtual planning before surgery allows to anticipate the results of a procedure more precisely.

Another important innovation to be procured for medical institutions is automated coupling and clipping devices of surgical threads and titanium suture fixators. This medical aid is imposed for cardiovascular surgery, i.e. surgical treatment of lesions of cardiac valves (stenoses, failures, tear of chordae etc.). Equipment can be used by cardiac and vascular surgeons by performing only minimally invasive cardiac surgeries.

According to the doctors, untreated heart valve diseases inevitably progress and gradually lead to a complete loss of work capacity or a high level of special needs. Surgical treatment, which includes heart valve surgery or prosthesis, fully compensates patient’s loss of function and restores patient’s ability to work, or significantly reduces or eliminates the need for nursing.

Automatic coupling and clipping devices of surgical threads and titanium suture fixators – an innovative medical aid with no alternatives in Lithuania when it is not possible to tie a knot of surgical threads manually. Thanks to the technology of automatic suture fixation, surgical threads are fixed and cut in a single movement with a special instrument. This provides a complete replacement for a conventional knot. The minimal size of the equipment makes it more comfortable for a surgeon to work inside the cardiac cavity, and a surgical suture is formed much more accurately and quickly (on average, the time saved is about 15 minutes), which reduces the risk of complications and leads to a quicker recovery.

Based on the calculations of the NHIF, it is anticipated that costs of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund to pay for new medical aids will reach almost EUR 700,000. These funds are already earmarked in the fund of 2024.

The health insurance funds remind that a part of expensive reimbursed medicines and medical aids for patients treated in the hospital or day inpatient unit is centrally purchased by the NHIF. This way, purchased medications and aids are delivered into treatment institutions.

Centrally purchased medicines are prescribed for patients with serious illnesses such as cancer, eye diseases, myocardial infarction, stroke and bleeding disorders. Various medical aids are also purchased centrally: artificial heart valves, joint replacements, neurostimulators, tracheoesophageal speaking prostheses, and other prostheses for organs or parts of organs.

All of them are included in the list of medicines and medical aids subject to centralised payment. New medicines and aids are added to this list every year.

(Freepic photo)

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