Bundled health care payments

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2.-Bundled-healthA new paper discussing the benefits of bundled health care payments has just been released by The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association [AHHA]. The paper covers the role and place bundled payments could take in Australia’s healthcare system.

“The paper, Bundled Payments: their role in Australian primary health care, by Dr Paresh Dawda, outlines the benefits and risks of introducing a system of bundled care payments,” says AHHA chief executive Alison Verhoeven.

The paper found bundled payments would benefit Australians in terms of proficiency, expediting health care processes. “Bundled care packages would be tailored to a particular individual’s care needs, and so would help reduce inappropriate care and promote efficiency,” said Dr Dawda.

Yet, Dr Dawda found that existing disadvantages regarding costings would not be aided by the change. “The introduction of bundled payments would also require careful management to counteract the disadvantages of the system, including difficulties in defining and calculating costs and allocating payment across providers.”

The paper found a problematic lack of data. An increase in discussion and projections for bundled payments could lead to beneficial reforms.

“Government leaders must make sure healthcare is a priority and ensure that under the new system, all Australians have equal access to safe, affordable and quality care tailored to their needs,” says Ms Verhoeven. “The AHHA hopes the findings from this paper are taken into account as the Commonwealth Government proceeds with reforms to health funding.”

Dr Paul Bates, the chief medical officer of Bupa, who helped fund the paper, also looked forward to reforms that would help the Australian public. “Affordable access to quality care needs to be at the forefront of decisions made as a health sector in order to achieve a more sustainable health system.”

 

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