Taiwan shelves plan to curb out-of-pocket charges for medical devices

Facing widespread outcry from medical providers, government health authorities have scrapped a plan to limit how much hospitals and clinics could charge patients for certain medical devices. The policy set to go into effect August 1 would have capped maximum allowable consumer outlay for 352 advanced or expensive devices, including drug-eluting coronary stents and intraocular lenses. 


If instituted, the ceilings would have saddled medical providers with some of the costs for patients needing such devices, which are not reimbursed in full by Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Administration.


The government said the policy was designed to equalize the amount different medical providers charge patients for the use of the same or similar devices. But the medical community argued the cost limitations would prevent the introduction and use of premium device products.