Hospital pricing authority bill passage welcomed

Thursday, November 3, 2011

 

The Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association (AHHA) welcomed the passage of legislation to establish the Independent Hospitals Pricing Authority (IHPA) through the House of Representatives.

The Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association is the independent peak membership body and advocate for the Australian healthcare system and a national voice for universally accessible, high quality healthcare.

“The IHPA is a key component of the health reform agenda and will play a vital role in improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of our health system,” Ms Prue Power, AHHA Executive Director said today.

"The AHHA strongly supports the establishment of the IHPA and its proposed functions, including developing a national efficient price for hospital services, advising COAG on public hospital funding issues and calculating Commonwealth funding for hospital-based training and research activities and public health programs. These tasks will all contribute to a more transparent, accountable and high performing hospital system.

"To achieve these aims, the IHPA will need to quickly develop the necessary skills and expertise in the complex area of hospital pricing. This will be a challenge which will rely on engaging people with the appropriate experience in the health finance and economic fields. Given the specialised knowledge required for this role, AHHA recommends that the IHPA be located in either Sydney or Melbourne.

"For the IHPA to function optimally, the AHHA also believes that it needs nationally consistent patient-centric data collections that harmonise the different data collection practices in the states and territories. We urge the IPHA to initially focus on establishing a national, uniform hospital patient dataset to underpin the development of a national efficient price system.

"It is also important to ensure that quality issues are taken into consideration when determining an 'efficient price' for services. An 'efficient price' which does not account for investment in quality, innovation, research and teaching will risk undermining the aims of the IHPA to promote more efficient and cost-effective care.

“We would encourage IHPA to take a broad approach to defining hospital services to ensure flexibility and innovation in the future delivery of appropriate care.

"We welcome the support of the House of Representatives for this key component of the Government's health reform agenda and look forward to its passage through the Senate in the coming weeks", Ms Power said

For further information/comment: Ms. Prue Power, Executive Director, AHHA Ph: 0417 419 857.