Webinar: Understanding Variation in Healthcare: Using Data to Identify and Address Low Value Care

Venue: Online
Date: 18 October 2023 12:00pm to 18 October 2023 01:00pm

Substantial variation in healthcare outcomes or processes is an alarm bell. It should make us stop and investigate whether the right care is being provided that delivers value and improves the outcomes that matter to the people and communities we serve.

Variation in itself is not necessarily bad. When it reflects differences in peoples’ needs, it can be an indicator of good quality healthcare. However, when it doesn’t reflect needs, it is ‘unwarranted’ and can represent the provision of low value care.

It is estimated that up to 30% of healthcare is ‘low value’ because it is either ineffective, harmful or delivers marginal benefit at a disproportionately high cost.

Low value care undermines the provision of value in health care, resulting in unnecessary financial costs to services and the system, contributing to the healthcare carbon footprint and putting people through unnecessary medical procedures that can cause harm.

With waiting lists for healthcare growing rapidly in Australia and health expenditure rising unsustainably, there is a growing need to identify clear examples of low value care, interrogate the drivers of it, and promote ways to prevent it and disinvest from it.

Join us in our next VBHC webinar on Wednesday the 18th of October, 12pm – 1pm AEDT in which a panel of leading health experts will explore examples of using data to identify and target unwarranted variation and low value care. They will consider the complex factors driving the provision of low value care in both the public and private health systems, and explore possible solutions for addressing unwarranted variation and low value care.



Dr Rachel David, CEO, Private Healthcare Australia
Dr Rachel David is an expert on healthcare policy and financing, and is currently the chief executive of Private Healthcare Australia, the industry peak body representing health funds. Previously a senior advisor to the Federal Health Minister between 1996 and 2000, her relationships in the government sector and the Australian business community extend to the highest levels. In her current role, Dr David undertakes policy and advocacy work, as well as thought leadership for Australia's major health funds.

Gillian Giles, Director of Healthcare Variation, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care
Gillian is currently the Director of Healthcare Variation at the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. She leads a team of project staff to produce the Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation series, and manages a program of work focused on system change to improve the appropriateness of healthcare. With a clinical background in speech pathology, Gillian has worked in both state and Commonwealth health departments and is experienced in policy development and service planning. 

Prof Adam Elshaug, Director, Centre for Health Policy at University of Melbourne 
Adam Elshaug, B.A., B.Sc. (Hons), M.P.H., Ph.D., is a researcher and policy advisor specialising in measuring and reducing waste (e.g., low value care) to optimise value in health care, an area in which he has developed novel, award winning methods utilising administrative health data. At the University of Melbourne, he is a Professor in Health Policy, with joint appointments in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health (MSPGH) and Melbourne Medical School, and is Director of the Centre for Health Policy (MSPGH).