Media Releases

Media Releases

Labor’s Commitment to Reverse Cuts to the MBS Pathology Bulk Billing Incentives Welcomed

19 June 2016

Labor’s commitment to reverse cuts to the MBS pathology bulk billing incentives welcomed

Catholic Health Australia (CHA) welcomes today’s announcement that a Shorten Labor government would not proceed with the removal of the bulk billing incentive items for pathology tests.

CHA CEO, Suzanne Greenwood said today that “this proposal will remove some of the current financial pressure facing the sector and will help to ensure current levels of bulk billing are maintained.”

“Too many vulnerable and disadvantaged patients are already not accessing necessary health services due to high out of pocket costs for GP and specialist visits. We should not be adding to this burden,” Mrs Greenwood added.

“We welcome this measure as a recognition of the challenges facing pathology, and in particular the not-for-profit and independent providers.”

CHA calls for transparency surrounding aged care cuts

17 June 2016
 
CHA calls for transparency surrounding aged care cuts
 
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) fears that financial modelling informing the Turnbull Government’s Budget changes to the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) which target aged care residents with the most complex health care needs significantly underestimates the true impact on aged care services and the care of residents.
 
Assessments by service providers of the changes are all indicating that they will reduce annual care funding in aged care homes by up to 12%, depending on the care needs of the residents in each home. 
 
“If implemented, cuts of this magnitude will compromise the care of residents that require the most complex nursing care,” warned Catholic Health Australia’s CEO, Suzanne Greenwood.  
 
“These residents currently benefit from non-pharmaceutical pain management by allied health professionals.” 
 
“It would also mean that providers would no longer be able to accept people from hospitals with high complex care needs.”
 
“Such significant cuts to aged care funding would also have a negative impact on the viability of aged care services and add to the volatility and unpredictability in care funding seen under ACFI in recent years. If not addressed, this threatens investment in the quality new services that will be required to care for Australia’s ageing population.”
 

Government private health insurance announcement a win for consumers

12 June 2016

Government private health insurance announcement a win for consumers

"Today’s announcement that a re-elected Turnbull government will act to make private health insurance more transparent and easy to understand is a big win for consumers and will benefit the wider health system," CHA CEO, Suzanne Greenwood said today.

“Private health insurance plays an important role in Australia’s health system. With around half the population being covered by private health insurance, it is vital that consumers have a good understanding of what they are covered for.”

“The range and complexity of health fund products, including the options for exclusions and limitations, means that the vast majority of consumers do not understand the scope of coverage of their insurance product.”

“When consumers do need hospital treatment, many can be disappointed to find that they do not have the level of cover they thought and face the prospect of significant out of pocket costs.”

 

Labor’s commitment to provide additional funding for public hospitals welcomed

12 June 2016
Labor’s commitment to provide additional funding for public hospitals welcomed

Today’s announcement that a Shorten Labor government will re-commit to funding 50% of the efficient growth in public hospital costs was welcomed by CHA CEO, Suzanne Greenwood.

“Our public hospitals play a vital role in the health of our community, including the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. It is important that they are provided with the resources necessary to maintain that role,” Mrs Greenwood said.

 “The commitment by Labor to 50% growth funding would ensure that the Commonwealth will continue over the long term to play its share in making sure that public hospitals are properly resourced. By being exposed to growth in hospital costs, it will also strengthen the incentive for the Commonwealth to appropriately fund primary and aged care services – thereby reducing future hospital demand”, said Mrs Greenwood.

Urgent action needed to maintain not-for-profit and independent pathology

Urgent action needed to maintain not-for-profit and independent pathology

18 May 2016

“Whoever is elected to government on 2 July will need to take urgent action to ensure the continuation of the not-for-profit and independent pathology sector,” CEO of Catholic Health Australia (CHA), Suzanne Greenwood, said today.
 
“The not-for-profit pathology sector is under extreme financial pressure as a result of ongoing cuts to MBS rebates, a freeze in MBS indexation since 1998, unilateral reductions in benefits paid by private health insurers and rapid increases in collection centre costs.”
 
“Additionally, the Medicare rules mean a large number of tests performed by pathology labs are not remunerated.”
 
The removal of the bulk billing incentives from 1 July would have dealt a further heavy blow to the sector. 
 

 

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