New report highlights value of accessing cataract treatment through the prostheses list

MTAA has welcomed the release of a report by Deloitte highlighting the benefits to Australian patients and government of accessing ophthalmic devices through the Prostheses List (PL).

Cataracts and glaucoma impose a substantial burden on hundreds of thousands of Australians through reduced vision, leading to lower quality of life, greater health system expenditure, productivity losses, informal care costs, and reliance on aids and modifications.

“Our report found that access to intraocular lenses through the Prostheses List saved government, patients and society $371m in 2017-2018,” said Lynne Pezzullo, Partner at Deloitte Access Economics, today.

“If all cataract surgery was completed in the private sector, additional savings to Government would be $162m. For each additional surgery that shifted to the private sector, individuals would save $836 and Government would save $1,885 per procedure,” Ms Pezzullo said. Privately insured patients have access to a broad choice of medical devices through the PL, which is a key component of the value proposition of private health insurance.

“Timely access to cost effective private ophthalmic surgeries through the Prostheses List reduces the economic burden of ophthalmic conditions and gives patients greater choice of ophthalmic devices,” said Ian Burgess, MTAA CEO, today.

“The devices industry was the sole contributor to lower private health insurance premium increases both in 2017 and in 2018. MTAA’s Agreement with the Government is on track to exceed $1.1 billion in expected savings, however, further cuts to the Prostheses List could erode these benefits.

“Further cuts to incentives for private ophthalmic treatment could drive more patients into the public system, putting greater pressure on an already over-burdened system, ” Mr Burgess said. A reduction in revenue may also reduce the ability of niche technology providers to bring new products to the market. “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,” Mr Burgess concluded.

The Deloitte report can be read here.