Cost of medical devices continues to fall

The cost of medical devices has fallen over the past 12 months, according to APRA's March quarter statistics on Private Health Insurance published today, with cost reductions of over 16% in some categories.

Costs for medical devices have fallen in every quarter since the MTAA’s (Medical Technology Association of Australia) Agreement with the Federal Government signed in 2017.

Since the March 2018 quarter there have been reductions in average benefits across almost all prostheses categories, including: 

-          Cardiac costs down 16.4%

-          Hip costs down 5.3%

-          Knee costs down 5.7%

Compared with the March 2018 quarter, March 2019 quarter statistics show that the average benefit paid for all prostheses has gone down 9%.

These cost reductions are a direct result of the $1.1 billion dollars in cuts delivered by MTAA through the Agreement and demonstrate MTAA’s active contribution to the affordability of healthcare in Australia.

The Agreement signed in October 2017 will save private health insurers $1.1 billion in payments for medical devices over the next four years and directly resulted in delivering the lowest private health insurance premium increase in 18 years.

Today’s APRA data on private health insurers shows them continuing to enjoy strong profitability, with after tax profits up almost 20% over the past three years as affordability for ordinary Australian families goes down.

Ian Burgess, Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Technology Association of Australia said:

“Today’s APRA data continues to demonstrate the impact of MTAA’s Agreement with the Federal Government through a reduction in costs for medical devices.

“MTAA has made a significant contribution to the affordability of healthcare in Australia through the delivery of the lowest private health insurance premium increase in 18 years in 2018.

“Cardiac costs are down 6.6%, hip costs are down 3.7%, knee costs are down 2.7% - this is a tangible demonstration of the benefits of the MedTech industry’s contribution to the affordability of private health insurance.

“Private health insurers must now demonstrate that they have passed these savings on to consumers in full.

“The medical technology industry believes access to a full range of medical technology is one of the key benefits of having private health insurance and we’re committed to helping ensure all Australians lead healthier and more productive lives.”