Dental reform: an overview of universal dental schemes – Parliamentary Library – 22 February 2012

Posted on February 28, 2012. Filed under: Dental Health | Tags: , |

Dental reform: an overview of universal dental schemes – Parliamentary Library – 22 February 2012\

Amanda Biggs, Social Policy Section.  Background Notes

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Debate: does the private health insurance rebate relieve pressure on public hospitals? – Parliamentary Library Flagpost – 1 June 2011

Posted on June 14, 2011. Filed under: Health Mgmt Policy Planning, Health Policy | Tags: , |

Debate: does the private health insurance rebate relieve pressure on public hospitals? – Parliamentary Library Flagpost – 1 June 2011

“As the Government once again prepares legislation to means test the 30 per cent private health insurance rebate—see this recent Flagpost for background—arguments over whether the rebate eases pressure on public hospitals, or exacerbates it, are likely to re-emerge. Because the rebate subsidises the purchase of private health insurance, which can be used to meet the cost of private hospital services, the private health insurance industry and others argue that it keeps pressure off public hospital services. They warn that means testing the rebate will encourage people to drop their private cover and then turn to the over-stretched public hospital system when they require medical treatment. The Australian Council of Social Services counters that the rebate redirects much-needed funding away from the public system—which those on low incomes rely upon—to the less efficient private sector.”

… continues

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Medicare Locals – many questions yet be answered – FlagPost – Commonwealth Parliamentary Library – 3 March 2011

Posted on March 3, 2011. Filed under: Health Mgmt Policy Planning | Tags: , |

Medicare Locals – many questions yet be answered  – FlagPost – Commonwealth Parliamentary Library – 3 March 2011

“The Government has released the guidelines for the establishment and initial operation of Medicare Locals (MLs) following the consultations around its discussion paper on the governance framework. Applications are invited for the operation of MLs to commence in either mid 2011 or January 2012. Approximately 15 MLs will be awarded in each round. The guidelines and prior ministerial statements would indicate that the initial groups of MLs are likely to be drawn from existing Divisions of General Practice.”

…continues on the site

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Paternalism in social policy—when is it justifiable? – Parliamentary Research Paper – 15 December 2010

Posted on January 21, 2011. Filed under: Health Mgmt Policy Planning, Health Policy | Tags: , |

Paternalism in social policy—when is it justifiable? – Parliamentary Research Paper – 15 December 2010

ISSN 1834-9854

Parliament of Australia Department of Parliamentary Services
Matthew Thomas and Luke Buckmaster  Social Policy Section

“Executive summary

Governments are increasingly called upon to introduce paternalist policies—that is, policies that  restrict the choices of individual citizens in their own interests and without their consent.

Paternalist policies are often controversial, not least because they infringe a key principle of  liberal societies; namely, that citizens are best placed to know their own interests.

While paternalist policies are often contentious, they are nevertheless ubiquitous. This suggests  that the main issue is not whether or not paternalism itself is justifiable, but rather the  conditions under which particular paternalist policies may be said to be justifiable.

This paper argues that paternalist policies may be considered justifiable under circumstances  where high stakes decisions are involved, the decisions being made by individuals are  irreversible and it is possible to identify failures in people’s reasoning. It is further argued that if  paternalist interventions are able to be justified in terms of people’s own values and  preferences, then this adds weight to their acceptability given that they do not undermine  people’s autonomy.

Relatively little scholarly attention has been devoted to the questions of what particular forms of  paternalism may be deemed to be appropriate. This paper suggests that the principles of  discrimination, proportionality, accountability and efficacy provide a framework with which to  consider the appropriateness or otherwise of various forms of paternalist intervention.”

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Health Practitioner Regulation (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2010 – Parliamentary Library Bills Digest – 11 March

Posted on March 23, 2010. Filed under: Health Professions | Tags: , |

Health Practitioner Regulation (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2010 – Parliamentary Library Bills Digest – 11 March 2010, no. 132, 2009–10, ISSN 1328-8091
Dr Rhonda Jolly,  Social Policy Section

“Purpose
The purpose of the Health Practitioner Regulation (Consequential Amendments) Bill is to:
• provide for consequential amendments to Commonwealth legislation to recognise and support implementation of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) for the Health Professions
• streamline processes involved in the recognition of doctors under the Health Insurance Act 1973 for the purpose of claiming Medicare.”

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Should we expand the use of pay-for-performance in health care? – Parliamentary Library Research Paper – 23 November 2009

Posted on November 24, 2009. Filed under: Clin Governance / Risk Mgmt / Quality | Tags: , |

23 November, no. 12, 2009–10, ISSN 1834-9854
Should we expand the use of pay-for-performance in health care? – Parliamentary Library Research Paper – 23 November 2009
Dr Anne-marie Boxall
Social Policy Section    23 November, no. 12, 2009–10, ISSN 1834-9854

“Executive summary
•Governments play a vital role in driving quality improvements in health care. They use various means, but publicly reporting performance data and linking performance and financial incentives—pay-for-performance (P4P)—are two common ones.
•P4P is used extensively in health care in some countries, for example the US and UK, even though it is controversial. There are only a few P4P schemes currently operating in Australia, but there have been recent proposals to expand its use.
•This paper examines the evidence on the impact of P4P schemes in health care. While the evidence is limited and yields mixed results, some experts argue that this should not spell the end for P4P. Instead, they suggest that policy-makers proceed with caution and use the existing evidence to highlight the challenges commonly associated with the use of P4P in health care. Some of the most important challenges are designing a system with:
–substantial rewards and targets that are reasonably difficult to achieve;
–minimal unintended consequences and incentives to ‘game’ the system, and;
–incentives for both the best and worst performers to improve the quality of health care.
•The paper also outlines recommendations made by Professor Ian Scott on the necessary design features for successful P4P schemes in the Australian context.”

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Toward national workplace safety and workers’ compensation systems: a chronology – 13 November 2009

Posted on November 13, 2009. Filed under: Occupational Hlth Safety | Tags: |

Toward national workplace safety and workers’ compensation systems: a chronology
Steve O’Neill
Economics Section, Parliamentary Library
13 Nov 2009

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What is Medicare Select? – Parliamentary Library Background Note – 13 August 2009

Posted on August 13, 2009. Filed under: Nat Hlth & Hosps Reform Comm | Tags: , |

Parliamentary Library Background Note
What is Medicare Select?
Online only 13 August 2009
Dr Anne-marie Boxall, Social Policy Section

“Contents

Introduction
How would Medicare Select differ from Medicare?
Are there schemes similar to Medicare Select operating in other countries?
Is Medicare Select a form of managed care?
Would Medicare Select mean privatising the Australian health system?
What would be the potential benefits of implementing Medicare Select in Australia?
What would be the potential risks of implementing Medicare Select?

Introduction

In its final report to Government, the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (the Commission) outlined three options for reforming the structure of the Australian health system. Two preserved the structure of the health system established with Medicare in 1984, but they proposed changes to financing arrangements and the roles of the Commonwealth and state and territory governments. The third option proposed more significant reforms that, if implemented, would result in a fundamental restructure of the Australian health system. The proposal, called Medicare Select, was foreshadowed in the Commission’s interim report (where it was labelled as Option C). It was described as a compulsory social health insurance system along the lines of those operating in many European countries.[1] In the Commission’s final report, the proposal was branded as ‘a uniquely Australian governance model for health care that builds on and expands Medicare’.[2]

Perhaps because the description of the proposal has changed, there is much confusion about what, precisely, Medicare Select is. Therefore, this paper addresses key questions about the Medicare Select proposal in order to help explain what is and how it would change the Australian health system if it were implemented. In particular this paper:

* examines the differences between Medicare and the Medicare Select proposal
* explains how Medicare Select differs from managed care and ‘privatising’ the health system
* identifies other countries with similar systems, and
* outlines the potential benefits and risks of implementing Medicare Select in Australia.”

…continues on the website

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Private health insurance premium increases—an overview – Parliamentary Library Background Note – 13 August 2009

Posted on August 13, 2009. Filed under: Health Mgmt Policy Planning | Tags: , |

Parliamentary Library Background Note
Private health insurance premium increases—an overview
Online only 13 August 2009
Amanda Biggs,  Social Policy Section,

“Contents

Introduction
Approval process for premium increases
Trends in recent premium increases
Table 1: Comparison between annual average percentage increases in private health insurance premiums and the CPI (June quarter)
Table 2: Average premium increases and Medibank Private increases, 2000–2009
Consumer information
Concluding comments

Introduction

Annually the Health Minister announces the average increase for health insurance premiums following the Government’s assessment of applications from health insurers. This attracts considerable media attention. Insurers that then announce premium rises larger than the figure announced by the Minister, may attract consumer complaints to the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman.[1]

On 2 March 2009, the Health Minster announced that premiums for health insurance products would increase by an industry average of 6.02 per cent from 1 April 2009.[2] This average increase is in line with a five year average annual increase of 6.1 per cent.[3]

This background note provides an overview of rises in private health insurance premiums in recent years, outlines possible reasons for these increases and for variations in the increases experienced by individual funds, and outlines recent changes to the regulation of private health insurance that may affect how premium rises are assessed and how they are reported.”

…continues on the website

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Does the Commonwealth have constitutional power to take over the administration of public hospitals? – Parliamentary Library Research Paper – 30 June 2009

Posted on July 1, 2009. Filed under: Health Economics, Health Systems Improvement | Tags: |

Does the Commonwealth have constitutional power to take over the administration of public hospitals?
Parliamentary Library Research Paper  30 June 2009, no. 36, 2008–09, ISSN 1834-9854 30 p.

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Obesity prevention in young children: what does the evidence say? Parliament of Australia – Parliamentary Library Background Note 1 May 2009

Posted on May 1, 2009. Filed under: Child Health / Paediatrics, Preventive Healthcare | Tags: , , |

Obesity prevention in young children: what does the evidence say? Parliament of Australia – Parliamentary Library Background Note 1 May 2009   13 p.
Dr Anne-marie Boxall, Social Policy Section

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