The early development of Italian Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is largely based on experimental approaches to the hospital-based technology assessment, which are argued to be the most important peculiarity of the country and still the real driver of the HTA movement. HTA in hospitals can serve as a tool for aiding administrative procedures or increasing dialogue and transparency as well as supporting the bottom-up awareness generation around HTA principles. The objectives of this study are to present the results of a survey of HTA activities at the hospital level in Italy and to assess the relationship between the implementation of HTA principles and variables, namely consumption and expenditure for orthopaedic prostheses, which have managerial implications for healthcare providers. Our results are based on 38 hospitals located in 13 Italian Regions, 53% of which have a commission working on MDs assessment. Nineteen hospitals declare the existence of a link between procurement and HTA activities. Our findings suggest that HTA could potentially impact on health technologies’ uptake and expenditure when realised in coordination with other hospital units, thus becoming a useful tool for local healthcare managers to plan and control their budget.
Keywords: Health Technology Assessment, HTA, Hospital-based HTA, mini- HTA, impact assessment, Italy