Post-Budget briefing kick-starts reform process

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The medical device and private health sector are now studying the detail of the federal government's proposed reform of the Prostheses List that was announced in last week's Budget.

The Budget included $23.1 million over four years from 2021-22 (and $2.1 million per year ongoing) to "modernise and improve the administration of the Prostheses List" (PL).

It also included a number of other reforms to the private health sector, including $303.9 million in savings over four years from the continuation of the current policy settings for the income thresholds for the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) and Private Health Insurance Rebate. The government announced it will review these MLS settings.

The government will also provide funding for an independent study to investigate private hospital default benefit arrangements and $0.9 million over two years to improve Private Health Insurance program modelling capabilities.

The Department of Health briefed representatives of the sector last Wednesday and provided some detail of the proposals that will see the removal of certain items of the PL and the recategorisation of others.

The reforms, which do not at this stage involve the adoption of episodic diagnosis-related groups, appear set to deliver significant change to the reimbursement of medical devices by private health insurers.