Reform must be backed by the best data

Medical device makers recognise the need for reform of the Prostheses List but it needs to be based on the best data, according to CEO of the Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA), Ian Burgess.

Mr Burgess spoke with HealthDispatch in a week during which the MTAA released its own data on prostheses pricing and continues to argue with private health insurers over the extent and nature of reform.

According to Mr Burgess, his members will continue to work with health minister Greg Hunt to secure reform in the next few months, in time for next year's premium increase, but government needs to ensure it does not impact on the industry to the extent it actually undermines the value of private health insurance.

"Reform needs to be evidence-based, sustainable, and also ensures that prostheses, through the Prostheses List, continues to contribute to the private health insurance value proposition, which it does, and has done so over quite a period time."

He says reform that goes too far, in the form of price cuts, could result in Australians with private health insurance having to pay gap payments for prostheses.

"We're committed to working with the minister...and he's committed to achieving cuts to the prostheses list in exchange for lower premium increases by private health insurers than would otherwise be the case."

He continued, "We do recognise the need for reform. However, cuts that are too big will significantly impact on the industry."

Article originally published in HealthDispatch.