Belgium: Mobile health apps not yet reimbursable
10 June 2019
An article dated 5 June 2019 in Belgian newspaper De Tijd has reported that owners of mobile health applications (mHealth apps) are currently waiting for the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance (INAMI-RIZIV) to establish a procedure that will enable them to apply for reimbursement for patients who use their apps. The creation of such a reimbursement scheme would help boost the use of mHealth apps in the Belgian healthcare market. However, to date, no reimbursement procedure has been enacted. According to the article, this may have a significant impact on the businesses of mHealth app owners.
By way of background, since the end of 2018, companies owning mHealth apps have been able to apply for recognition and the publication of their mHealth apps on the website mhealthbelgium.be, which is operated by the Belgian government. Three different levels of recognition are available for mHealth apps (see our earlier blog post, Belgium: Mobile health apps can now be published on mhealthbelgium.be. Only if the cost of the mHealth app qualifies for reimbursement within the framework of broader treatments, is it granted the highest level ("level 3") of recognition. Consequently, the website only lists the mHealth apps attaining a "level 1"’ or "level 2" recognition. In the meantime, health insurance funds have taken individual initiatives to partially reimburse patients for certain mHealth apps.
A prior version of this post was originally published by the same authors in Practical Law – Life Sciences, July 2019 Issue (Thomson Reuters).