Luxembourg's public health insurance is a compulsory insurance for all employees, self-employed professionals, farmers, and pensioners. It is financed through contributions of the insured people, as well as by state taxes. Providers of health care are mainly private nonprofit institutions and self-employed professionals. All healthcare procedures are defined in fee schedules determined by a common decision of the Ministers of Social Security and Health according to proposals of a board of experts. The relative value of a service is also determined by the corresponding fee schedule. Hospitals are financed by individual budgets negotiated between each hospital and the health insurance. These hospital budgets do not cover services provided in hospitals by medical specialists, who are reimbursed on a fee-for-service basis. A law on hospital planning and organization allows the government to restrict the installation in hospitals of very expensive equipment or of equipment for which there is only a limited need in Luxembourg hospitals. Until recently there has been limited interest in or use of health technology assessment (HTA). However, large hospital investments have provoked some interest in the last few years. The Ministry of Health has asked for some HTA studies when a concrete decision had to be taken. Luxembourg decision makers have become more aware that HTA may help them to become more informed about the short- and long-term consequences of the application of health technology.
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