The Medical Technology Association of Australia has welcomed the publication of a work plan covering the strategic agreement it signed with the Turnbull government last year.
The work plan relates to the agreement's key objectives, including the sector's stability and sustainability, access and reducing the time to market for new medical technologies, enhancing the transparency and efficiency of government decision-making in relation to prostheses, and new mechanisms for recognising their superior clinical performance.
At the same time, the government has released the terms of reference for three industry working groups. The groups are:
- Revised Benefit Setting and Review Framework Industry Working Group to develop a revised framework for benefit setting and benefit review;
- Cardiac Technical Support Services Industry Working Group to determine how technical support services for active implantable cardiac devices should be funded; and,
- Quality of Information and Guidance Industry Working Group to improve the quality of information provided to applicants in the Prostheses List – Guide to Listing and Benefits (the Guide) and the Prostheses List Management System (PLMS).
According to MTAA CEO, Ian Burgess, “The release of the Agreement workplan and industry working groups terms of reference is important to ensure transparency around this process and the delivery of reforms that are in the Agreement.
“Under this Agreement, the MedTech industry is incurring revenue cuts of $1.1 billion which goes directly to the private health insurance companies to improve the affordability of their insurance products.
“We are the major reason that this year’s average private health insurance premium increase was the lowest in 17 years.
“Full implementation of the reforms contained in the Agreement is essential to ensure that patients benefit from improved access to medical technology.
“The Prostheses List (PL) ensures privately insured patients continue to access safe and clinically effective prostheses however this Agreement will provide the PL with much needed reform."
He added, “Inequity of treatment is not in the best interest of private health insurance policy holders.
“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.”