Health insurance crisis looms

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 17 & 18 : 9-Dec-19

Medibank Private’s chief customer officer David Koczkar and NIB Holdings MD Mark Fitzgibbon have stressed the need to reign in rising costs in Australia’s health care system. Private Healthcare Australia CEO Rachel David has warned that smaller private health insurers in particular may not be viable unless reforms are implemented. The federal government has approved a 3.27 per cent increase in Medibank’s premiums for 2020, while NIB and Bupa will lift their premiums by 2.9 per cent and 3.26 per cent respectively.

CORPORATES
MEDIBANK PRIVATE LIMITED – ASX MPL, NIB HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NHF, BUPA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, PRIVATE HEALTHCARE AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HEALTH, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, GRATTAN INSTITUTE

Emergency key to $1bn costs shift

Original article by Sean Parnell
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 24-Apr-18

Health insurers claim that they are being billed more $A1 billion a year for treatments in public hospitals that patients are otherwise entitled to receive for free. Much of the problem appears to lie with emergency admissions, with a 144 per cent increase in private emergency admissions over the past decade. The number of public patient admissions in the same period has only risen by 26 per cent. Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has made it known that he wants changes to the way that emergency departments operate.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HEALTH, QUEENSLAND HEALTH

Super raids to pay for health bills

Original article by Sean Parnell, Sarah-Jane Tasker
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 9-Jan-18

Government funding for the health system is under scrutiny following the release of data showing that more Australians are accessing their superannuation to finance medical procedures. The figures show that there were around 22,000 applications to draw upon super savings to pay medical bills in 2016-17, compared with just 4,000 in 2010-11. The Federal Government will review the existing rules regarding the early release of super savings, as well as out-of-pocket medical fees, which comprise about 20 per cent of spending on healthcare,

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION LIMITED, CONSUMERS’ HEALTH FORUM OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HEALTH, FINANCIAL PLANNING ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Labor to end doctors’ pay freeze

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 2 : 19-May-16

The Australian Labor Party intends to scrap the freeze on the Medicare rebate for visits to a GP if it wins the federal election. The rebate was slated to remain at around $A38 until 2020, but Labor proposes to abolish it the start of 2017. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has indicated that this policy will be partially funded by not proceeding with some of the company tax cuts that were outlined in the Federal Government’s May 2016 Budget.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HUMAN SERVICES. MEDICARE AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION LIMITED, THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN COLLEGE OF GENERAL PRACTITIONERS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Ley rules out bulk-billing means test

Original article by Joanna Heath
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 5-Mar-15

The Australian Government has decided not to introduce a $A5 GP co-payment. Health Minister Sussan Ley is now looking for other cost-cutting options, although she has ruled out the means-testing of bulk-billing. The matter will be discussed at a meeting of Ley and Prime Minister Tony Abbott with Australian Medical Association president Brian Owler

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HEALTH, AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION LIMITED

Medicare rebate freeze to stay

Original article by Joanna Heath
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 4-Mar-15

Australian Medical Association president Brian Owler has backed the Federal Government’s decision to abandon its proposed Medicare co-payment. However, he says the decision to leave the Medicare rebate at its current level until 2018 should also be scrapped, arguing that it will reduce GPs’ income. Health Minister Susan Ley says the rebate freeze will also be reviewed, and has stressed the need for policies that help the Government to balance the Budget

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HEALTH, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HUMAN SERVICES. MEDICARE AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Co-payment will hit bulk-billing, AMA head Owler predicts

Original article by Dan Harrison
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: 4 : 11-Dec-14

Bulk-billing accounted for some 82 per cent of visits to Australian GPs in the 2013-14 financial year. Brian Owler, the president of the Australian Medical Association, has warned that the Federal Government’s revised co-payment scheme will forced many GPs to abandon bulk-billing in favour of private billing for most patients

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HEALTH, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HUMAN SERVICES. MEDICARE AUSTRALIA, ROYAL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL (VICTORIA)

GPs may charge higher co-payment

Original article by Joanna Heath
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 30-Jul-14

Stephen Duckett of the Grattan Institute says the cost of visting a GP is a deterrent for many Australians on low incomes. There are concerns that more low-income earners will avoid visiting GPs if the Federal Government’s $A7 co-payment is introduced. Richard Bartlett of the Department of Health has conceded that GPs will be able to charge a higher co-payment. He also says the fee should have no impact on the provision of medical services

CORPORATES
GRATTAN INSTITUTE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HEALTH, THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN COLLEGE OF GENERAL PRACTITIONERS, AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION LIMITED