2021-22 Public Hospital Pricing Framework

10 Nov 2020

The AMA provided a submission on the 2021-22 Public Hospital Pricing Framework on 16 October 2020. The consultation paper covered a range of topics. As a priority, the national pricing model for 2021-22 should fully compensate public hospitals for increased treatment costs due to either COVID-19 caused delays to patient care or COVID-19 caused complications for existing conditions.

The AMA re-stated an opposition to the use of funding penalties as an incentive to minimise avoidable public hospital patient complications. There is no credible evidence to demonstrate a causal link between funding penalties and fewer patient complications, and there is a very strong argument these funding penalties should be paused until the effect of COVID-19 caused delay hospital treatments for patients on official waiting lists, patients waiting for outpatient assessments/consultations/diagnostic tests or patients who have delayed cancer screening, have washed through the public hospital system. A review of the private patient correction factor to remove any funding incentive to prioritise privately insured patients ahead of public hospital patients on elective surgery waiting lists is positive, providing the correction is not over estimated so that public hospitals become financially penalised if a privately insured patient elects private treatment.  Refer to the AMA submission for all other issues covered.