Lise Rochaix, Bertrand Xerri
The French National Authority for Health (Haute Autorité de Santé, or HAS) was established to assist France's public institutions in optimizing the basket of reimbursable goods and services and to help health care professionals continuously improve their clinical practice by defining best-care standards and identifying relevant tools and methods. HAS carries out single technology assessment (STA) and multiple technology assessment (MTA), assessing both the intrinsic benefit of the new technology and its effectiveness compared with that of existing technologies. A new treatment may not be covered unless it provides either improved benefit or lower cost, and STA is mandatory before a new drug, device, or medical procedure can be added to the benefit list for sickness funds. While HAS recommendations are advisory, the decision-making bodies (the Ministry of Health or the union of sickness funds) accept its findings in most cases.