Why the pathology bulk-billing campaign is more about driving industry profits than saving you money
The Conversation » Health Economics
by Stephen Duckett, Honorary Enterprise Professor, School of Population and Global Health, and Department of General Practice and Primary Care, The University of Melbourne
3d ago
iamharin/Shutterstock For many people, the term “bulk billed” refers to a GP visit they don’t have to pay for out-of-pocket. But another form of bulk billing is in the news ahead of May’s federal budget – bulk billing of pathology testing, such as blood tests. This relates to the fees pathology companies receive from Medicare to perform out-of-hospital laboratory tests, the type your GP might order to help diagnose or monitor disease. These pathology fees have been frozen for almost a quarter of a century. Is that fair? Obviously not, argues Australian Pathology, which represents private patho ..read more
Visit website
Buyouts can bring relief from medical debt, but they’re far from a cure
The Conversation » Health Economics
by Erin Duffy, Research Scientist, University of Southern California
1M ago
Medical debt can have devastating consequences. PhotoAlto/Odilon Dimier via Getty Images One in 10 Americans carry medical debt, while 2 in 5 are underinsured and at risk of not being able to pay their medical bills. This burden crushes millions of families under mounting bills and contributes to the widening gap between rich and poor. Some relief has come with a wave of debt buyouts by county and city governments, charities and even fast-food restaurants that pay pennies on the dollar to clear enormous balances. But as a health policy and economics researcher who studies out-of-pocket medical ..read more
Visit website
Asthma meds have become shockingly unaffordable − but relief may be on the way
The Conversation » Health Economics
by Ana Santos Rutschman, Professor of Law, Villanova School of Law
1M ago
Its price will take your breath away. Brian Jackson/Getty Images The price of asthma medication has soared in the U.S. over the past decade and a half. The jump – in some cases from around a little over US$10 to almost $100 for an inhaler – has meant that patients in need of asthma-related products often struggle to buy them. Others simply can’t afford them. To make matters worse, asthma disproportionately affects lower-income patients. Black, Hispanic and Indigenous communities have the highest asthma rates. They also shoulder the heaviest burden of asthma-related deaths and hospitalizations ..read more
Visit website
Slashing salt can save lives – and it won’t hurt your hip pocket or tastebuds
The Conversation » Health Economics
by Peter Breadon, Program Director, Health and Aged Care, Grattan Institute, Lachlan Fox, Associate, Grattan Institute
6M ago
Shutterstock Each year, more than 2,500 Australians die from diseases linked to eating too much salt. We shouldn’t be putting up with so much unnecessary illness, mainly from heart disease and strokes, and so many deaths. As a new Grattan Institute report shows, there are practical steps the federal government can take to save lives, reduce health spending and help the economy. Read more: Essays on health: how food companies can sneak bias into scientific research We eat too much salt, with deadly consequences Eating too much salt is bad for your health. It raises blood pressure, which increas ..read more
Visit website
People with private health insurance save the government $550 a year, on average
The Conversation » Health Economics
by Francesco Paolucci, Professor of Health Economics, University of Bologna, University of Newcastle, Josefa Henriquez, Phd Candidate (Economics), University of Newcastle
7M ago
Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio The federal government has, for a long time, encouraged Australians to get private health insurance, in an attempt to reduce the financial burden on the public health system. To make private health insurance more attractive, the government has a strategy of carrots and sticks. Low-income and older people receive subsidies through “premium rebates”. High-income earners without the right policy face the Medicare Levy Surcharge, ranging from 1 to 1.5% of their taxable income. The effectiveness of these subsidies is regularly debated, with questions about whether the A$6.7 ..read more
Visit website
Who really benefits from private health insurance rebates? Not people who need cover the most
The Conversation » Health Economics
by Yuting Zhang, Professor of Health Economics, The University of Melbourne, Judith Liu, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Oklahoma, Nathan Kettlewell, Chancellor's Research Fellow, Economics Discipline Group, University of Technology Sydney
7M ago
Shutterstock The Australian government spends A$6.7 billion a year on private health insurance rebates. These rebates are the government’s contribution towards the costs of individuals’ premiums. But our analysis shows higher rebates for people aged 65 and older are not doing much to encourage them to sign up for private hospital cover, the very group who may benefit the most from it. This and other research point to these rebates largely going to people on higher incomes, ones who’d be more likely to buy private health insurance anyway. Read more: The private health insurance rebate has cost ..read more
Visit website
Pharmacists should be able to work with GPs to prescribe medicines for long-term conditions
The Conversation » Health Economics
by Peter Breadon, Program Director, Health and Aged Care, Grattan Institute, Aaron Yin, Associate, Health & Aged Care Program, Grattan Institute
8M ago
A national review of primary care workforce regulations is investigating ways to increase Australians’ access to quality health care. The review is considering how health-care workers can use more of their skills and training, to work to their full scope of practice. This includes exploring who should be allowed to prescribe medications. Independent pharmacist prescribing is increasing around the world, and now trials are starting in most Australian states. The review should focus on expanding pharmacists prescribing for stable conditions and long-term medications, under the direction of a GP ..read more
Visit website
Does private health insurance cut public hospital waiting lists? We found it barely makes a dent
The Conversation » Health Economics
by Yuting Zhang, Professor of Health Economics, The University of Melbourne, Jongsay Yong, Associate Professor of Economics, The University of Melbourne, Ou Yang, Senior Research Fellow, The University of Melbourne
8M ago
Shutterstock The more people take up private health insurance, the less pressure on the public hospital system, including shorter waiting lists for surgery. That’s one of the key messages we’ve been hearing from government and the private health insurance industry in recent years. Governments encourage us to buy private hospital cover. They tempt us with carrots – for instance, with subsidised premiums. With higher-income earners, the government uses sticks – buy private cover or pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge. These are just some of the billion-dollar strategies aimed to shift more of us who ..read more
Visit website
Our older population will triple in 40 years. But a social insurance model won't fix the aged care funding crisis
The Conversation » Health Economics
by Henry Cutler, Professor and Director, Macquarie University Centre for the Health Economy, Macquarie University
8M ago
Shutterstock Preliminary data from the 2023 Intergenerational Report shows Australia’s population aged 85 and over is set to more than triple over the next 40 years. This will exacerbate existing strains on the aged-care system. The government’s Aged Care Taskforce is investigating aged-care funding options to develop a “fair and equitable” system, while exploring efficiency, affordability and sustainability. The government will spend more than A$146 billion on aged care in the next four years. General tax revenue will cover that cost, mostly funded by individual income tax receipts. But the g ..read more
Visit website
Private health insurance is set for a shake-up. But asking people to pay more for policies they don't want isn't the answer
The Conversation » Health Economics
by Yuting Zhang, Professor of Health Economics, The University of Melbourne, Nathan Kettlewell, Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Economics Discipline Group, University of Technology Sydney
9M ago
Shutterstock Private health insurance is under review, with proposals to overhaul everything from rebates to tax penalty rules. One proposal is for higher-income earners who don’t have private health insurance to pay a larger Medicare Levy Surcharge – an increase from 1.25% or 1.5%, to 2%. And if they want to avoid that surcharge, they’d need to take out higher-level hospital cover than currently required. Encouraging more people to take up private health insurance like this might seem a good way to take pressure off the public hospital system. But our research shows these proposals may not ac ..read more
Visit website

Follow The Conversation » Health Economics on FeedSpot

Continue with Google
Continue with Apple
OR