“We don’t have knowledge of a thing until we have grasped its why, that is to say, its cause.”
History and Structure
The Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Tariff System (AOTMiT) is a state financed institution established by the Regulation of the Minister of Health in September 2005 as an independent unit supervised by the Minister of Health. Four years later, based on the Act of June 2009 amending the Act on healthcare services financed from public funds. The Agency has obtained the status of a state organizational unit with a separate legal personality. Since then, the tasks and competences of AOTMiT have been significantly expanded – the fact has also been reflected in the changes to the institution’s name, which up till the end of 2014 it was called The Agency for Health Technology Assessment in Poland (AOTM).
AOTMiT serves as an advisory body to support the Minister of Health in the decision-making process regarding the reimbursement, health benefits package and tariffs.
Apart from the administrative staff, AOTMiT is comprised of four main departments:
- HTA Department responsible for assessment of pharmaceutical technologies, pharmaceutical programmes and health policy programmes.
- Health Services Department in charge of assessment of non-pharmaceutical technologies and health services, re-evaluation of basic benefits’ package, as well as appraisal of clinical guidelines prepared by medical societies.
- Tariffs Department which analyses costs of health services, creates tariffs used in settlements between national payer and health care providers and, also, improves the methodology for calculating costs of health services.
- President’s Office with main tasks of collaboration with Transparency Council (in HTA area) and Tariff Council (in tariff area)—two supporting bodies playing a consultancy role within the health care system—and preparation of final documents (recommendations, opinions, etc.) delivered to the Ministry of Health.
Next to the Agency’s President operate two advisory and consultative bodies:
- Transparency Council, which prepares positions and opinions on health policy, pharmaceutical technologies, pharmaceutical programmes,
- Tariff Council, which formulates opinions about Agency’s tariff plan, the methodology of tariffs’ calculation
With our target audience comprising of the Minister of Health, relevant policy makers and hospital managers, who decide on contracted services, the Agency aims to provide guidance by offering the highest quality of evidence-based health care. Thus, our main goal is to inform the decisions on public funding of health technologies—especially controversial, expensive procedures—under the basic benefits package. In 2014 AOTMiT’s responsibilities were expanded to include the duty to set up health care services and, consequently, management of tariff system. For proper determination of the point value of benefits we obtain and analyse reliable and comparable data.
Additionally, among other tasks, the Agency acts for collection and dissemination of information and tools on HTA and EBM.
How AHTAPol Works
AOTMiT is a state organization unit with legal personality, supervised by the Minister of Health.
AOTMiT is responsible for:
- Implementation of tasks related to the assessment of health care services,
- Issuing recommendations on qualifying healthcare services as guaranteed benefits, determining or changing the level or method of financing guaranteed benefits, removing a given healthcare payment,
- Preparing reports on the assessment of healthcare services,
- Determining the benefits’ tariffs,
- Developing proposals for recommendations regarding the standard of cost accounting,
- Compiling reports on setting the benefits’ tariffs,
- Initiating, supporting and conducting analyses and scientific research in the field of health technology assessment,
- Opinions on health policy programs,
- Evaluating healthcare technologies (procedures and interventions, both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical),
- Assessing medical procedures and verifying assessments of medical procedures with special focus on contracted services,
- Collecting, making available, and disseminating information on HTA results, methodology, and recommendations generated within and outside of Poland,
- Recommending medical procedures to the Minister of Health,
- Performing other duties as delegated by the Minister of Health, e.g. coordinating works on the Basic Benefit Package, and coordinating and developing Polish guidelines for producing HTA reports.
AOTMiT uses the Internet as its main means of communication (www.aotm.gov.pl or www.aotm.eu). All publications are available electronically and free-of-charge. Full-text versions of HTA reports and abstracts are available in Polish.
In accordance with its statutory mandate to disseminate evidence-based health information and make it easily accessible to the general public, our website intends to inform readers about HTA reports, current initiatives and activities, new projects, publications in the field and upcoming events. Other means to disseminate information about our HTA reports include participation in national and international conferences and workshops, as well as educational activities and seminars for target groups and the general public.
Current Projects (A Selection)
- EUnetHTA JA3 – Identification and implementation of a balanced model of scientific and technical cooperation in the field of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) in Europe.
- Impact HTA – Improved methods and Actionable Tools for enhancing Health Technology Assessment, AOTMiT involvement in the project results from the main role in the economic assessment within the Polish health care system.
- POWER – to support the health area through pro-quality activities and organizational solutions in the health care system, facilitating access to inexpensive, sustainable and high-quality health services.
- KOMPAZ – the identification of health needs, enabling to design the supply of health services necessary to meet these needs in the area of selected disease entities for the years 2019-2028
One of the most important AOTMiT’s long term goals is to initiate and uphold an enduring and dependable cooperation with our partners. We actively work on forming national and international partnerships aiming at the exchange of both methods, data and experience.
Our main objectives are:
- to propose structural and procedural improvements for AOTMiT and other institutions within the Polish healthcare system,
- to provide training on assessment and aggregation of evidence according to EBM, as well as critical appraisal of health economic analyses, including social, ethical, and other implications,
- to provide “training for trainers” courses in EBM and HTA,to maintain an international worldwide cooperation,
- to hold internships and exchange of experience with other countries – partners in projects,
- to disseminate the knowledge on Clinical Practice Guidelines,
- to develop the HTA for Medical Devices.
Description of population served: National
Population served (mil): 38.4
Current HTA budget (mil USD): 12,443
Permanent staff: 156
Ongoing TA projects:
Director: Roman Topór-Mądry, MD, PhD
Contact person: Katarzyna Jagodzińska-Kalinowska; Aneta Lipińska
Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Tariff System
Agencja Oceny Technologii Medycznych i Taryfikacji
2 Przeskok Street
00-032 Warsaw, Poland