Germany’s Digital Health Reforms in the COVID-19 Era: Lessons and Opportunities for Other Countries

npj Digit. Med. 3, 94 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41746-020-0306-7

Posted: 9 Jul 2021

See all articles by Sara Gerke

Sara Gerke

Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson Law

Ariel Dora Stern

Harvard Business School

Timo Minssen

University of Copenhagen - Centre for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law (CeBIL) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: July 10, 2020

Abstract

Reimbursement is a key challenge for many new digital health solutions, whose importance and value have been highlighted and expanded by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Germany’s new Digital Healthcare Act (Digitale–Versorgung–Gesetz or DVG) entitles all individuals covered by statutory health insurance to reimbursement for certain digital health applications (i.e., insurers will pay for their use). Since Germany, like the United States (US), is a multi-payer health care system, the new Act provides a particularly interesting case study for US policymakers. We first provide an overview of the new German DVG and outline the landscape for reimbursement of digital health solutions in the US, including recent changes to policies governing telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. We then discuss challenges and unanswered questions raised by the DVG, ranging from the limited scope of the Act to privacy issues. Lastly, we highlight early lessons and opportunities for other countries.

Keywords: Digital Health, Germany, Apps, Digital Healthcare Act

JEL Classification: I1, K

Suggested Citation

Gerke, Sara and Stern, Ariel Dora and Minssen, Timo, Germany’s Digital Health Reforms in the COVID-19 Era: Lessons and Opportunities for Other Countries (July 10, 2020). npj Digit. Med. 3, 94 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41746-020-0306-7, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3880735

Sara Gerke

Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson Law ( email )

150 S College St
Carlisle, PA 17013
United States

Ariel Dora Stern

Harvard Business School ( email )

Morgan Hall 433
Harvard Business School
Boston, MA MASSACHUSETTS 02163
United States
6174952332 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hbs.edu/astern

Timo Minssen (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen - Centre for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law (CeBIL) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Karen Blixens Plads 16
Copenhagen, 2300
Denmark
+46 708 607517 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://jura.ku.dk/cebil/staff/profile/?pure=en/persons/381631

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