Cost of medical devices down in March quarter as industry continues to support COVID-19 response

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The APRA March quarter statistics on Private Health Insurance highlight once again the savings that have been delivered by MTAA’s Agreement with the Commonwealth, despite the enormous financial pressures being faced by the industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Total benefits paid for prostheses decreased by 10.9% in the March quarter compared to the December quarter 2019.

This is a direct result of the $1.1 billion dollars in cuts that MTAA delivered through its October 2017 Agreement, and a crucial demonstration of the significant contribution that MTAA is making towards affordable health care.

“Our Agreement with the Commonwealth is delivering real and tangible outcomes as we continue to work to hand-in-glove with federal and state governments to supply critical medical equipment,” said Ian Burgess, MTAA CEO, today.

“Through $1.1 billion in cuts, we have demonstrated that the medical device industry is willing to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to deliver value and affordability to consumers.

“Despite facing unprecedented financial pressures, including an increase in freight costs of up to 600%, revenue reductions of up to 90% and a falling Australian dollar, the medtech has industry has worked tirelessly to ensure supply throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Burgess said.

The APRA data shows private health insurers continuing to enjoy strong profitability, which is expected to increase significantly as a result of the temporary pause in elective surgery, with premiums set to go up at the end of 2020.

“We will continue to deliver the savings that were promised as we expedite the manufacture and supply of crucial medical equipment to the frontline of the fight against COVID-19, which remains the number one priority of our members,” Mr Burgess concluded.