Reimbursement for Alpha AMS subretinal implant

Once again, several hospitals have reached an agreement with the regional representatives of the statutory health insurance companies on reimbursement for the Alpha AMS subretinal implant from medtech company Retina Implant AG under the provisions for new testing and treatment methods (NUB) in Germany. For patients in the late stage of the incurable retinal disease retinitis pigmentosa (RP), this means they can be treated at specialist RI implantation centres in Dresden, Kiel, Stuttgart, Tübingen and at other hospitals, with the health insurance companies covering the procedure.

The provisions for new testing and treatment methods are designed to promote the introduction of innovations in healthcare in Germany, as these methods cannot yet be paid for through the system of a flatrate per case. An application for reimbursement under the provisions for new testing and treatment methods for the next calendar year must be made each year by the hospitals to the “Institut für das Entgeltsystem im Krankenhaus” (Institute for reimbursement in hospital – InEK) by the end of October. At the beginning of the year, the RI implantation centres received “Status 1” notification from the InEK and were therefore able to begin negotiations with the regional health insurance companies on reimbursement under the NUB provisions. These negotiations have now been concluded successfully and thus a key step has been taken in the NUB procedure to ensure the statutory health insurance companies cover the costs of the procedure.

RI implantation centres in Germany

The Städtisches Klinikum Dresden-Friedrichstadt hospital, the University Eye Hospital in Kiel, the University Eye Hospital in Tübingen, Katharinenhospital Stuttgart and other hospitals are certified RI implantation centres, each with highly experienced retinal surgeons. They have reached an agreement with regional representatives of the statutory health insurance companies in Germany on the level of reimbursement under the NUB provisions. They can use this as a basis for implanting the Alpha AMS subretinal implant for patients with late-stage RP and receive reimbursement.

An invention from Germany for the whole world

Hereditary retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa are incurable and usually lead to total blindness in the final stage. Although they are rare diseases, over 30,000 people suffer from them in Germany alone. The RETINA IMPLANT Alpha AMS subretinal implant can restore part of the sight of blind people suffering from retinitis pigmentosa. This means patients can make out light sources, for example. Reutlingen-based medtech company Retina Implant AG is developing and marketing the implant, which was given CE certification in 2016. “Since the start of the research almost fifteen years ago, we’ve seen our mission as using our skills to offer visually impaired and blind people the opportunity to lead more autonomous lives,” explains Reinhard Rubow, spokesman for the Executive Board of Retina Implant AG. “Another major step has been taken with reimbursement of the implant for patients in Germany. The chip is an invention from Germany and will in the future also be available to patients in other countries.”