Millions to benefit from medical device price cuts

Tuesday, 04 February, 2020

Millions to benefit from medical device price cuts

Millions of Australians with private health insurance will benefit from price cuts to thousands of medical technologies treating heart and lung disease, diabetes, bone cancer, eye trauma, severe arthritis and more.

The cuts — which came into effect on 1 February 2020 — come in the wake of the Medical Technology Association of Australia’s (MTAA) agreement with Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt in 2017, which is on track to save $1.1 billion off the cost of medical devices by 2022.

“This agreement with government continues to help more Australians access more medical technology at less cost,” MTAA CEO Ian Burgess said. “That is what I call a win-win-win for patients, taxpayers and industry.

“Today’s announcement also debunks the long-held claim that the cost of individual medical technologies continue to rise, when the vast majority are actually falling in price.

“This is further evidence that when governments work with the medical technology sector, patients get a good deal more.”

Over three million medical devices were used to treat Australians with private health insurance last year alone.

Burgess commented that medical technology was evolving and becoming as much about improving lives as about saving them.

“Two of the biggest contributors to Australia’s ill health are inactivity and isolation — and the two are often linked, particularly as we get older.

“Increasingly, medical technology is being used not just to save lives, but keeping Australians more mobile, social, and now, working, for longer, which are all essential to the future health of our ageing population and economy.

“These medical technologies are also continuing to improve patient recovery and operating times, for less cost, meaning better outcomes for the health system and the budget,” he said.

Medical device price cuts
 Condition Med Tech New price (Feb 2020) Savings (Feb 2020) Savings since agreement (2017)
 Heart disease Pacemaker $35,132 -$2848 -$12,343
 Diabetes Insulin pump $8574 -$451
 Severe arthritis (Hip) Replacement joint $8351 -$393 -$853
 Lung disease Airflow valve system $5686 -$299 -$614
 Bone cancer (leg) Artificial bone $7066 -$181 -$428
 Eye trauma Artificial (glass) eye       $1741 -$92 -$189

Source: Federal Dept of Health Prostheses List Feb 2020, Nov 2019 and August 2017.

Image credit: © Tactic

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