The Medical Technology of Australia (MTAA) has backed a potential review of the Prostheses List price reforms by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO).
According to the ANAO's potential 2018-19 program, "An assurance review would examine whether the Department of Health has obtained assurance that the financial benefits from the Prostheses List reforms accruing to private health insurers have been passed on to consumers in the form of premium reductions."
In late 2017, the MTAA called on the government to give the ANAO the power to audit insurers to ensure the reductions are passed on to consumers.
“We welcome the decision of the ANAO to consider an audit of private health to ensure they’ve passed on every dollar of the cuts to the Prostheses List," said CEO Ian Burgess.
“Our industry delivered cuts of $1.1 billion from the cost of life-saving and life-changing medical devices. Those cuts lowered the cost of private health insurance for Australian consumers and delivered the lowest premium increase in 17 years.
“Recent APRA data showed Prostheses List expenditure dropped to the lowest level in over a decade to 9.8 percent of private health insurance costs.
“We believe access to a full range of medical technology is the most valuable component of a private health insurance policy and we’re committed to doing what we do best – assist patients lead healthier and more productive lives.”
Department of Health officials told Senate Budget Estimates in May they were "absolutely sure" reductions had been passed on in the form of lower premium increases.
They said insurers had "identified" and quantified the impact on premiums in their submissions for this year's 1 April increase.