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Health Minister to tackle medical device pricing quirk

Ley to tackle medical device pricing quirk
Photo: Ley to tackle medical device pricing quirk
Health Minister Sussan Ley wants to tackle a pricing quirk which makes medical devices more expensive in the private health system.

The federal government will move to fix up a quirk that makes medical devices more expensive in the private health system compared to the public one.

Health Minister Sussan Ley said there were fixed price benefits that private health insurers are required to pay on behalf of customers for more than 10,000 devices including pacemakers, pins and plates.

Under the public system there is no set price and greater competition around purchasing, so private health insurers are often paying twice as much for medical devices, which is then passed on to patients through higher premiums.
Ms Ley said a working group will be set up to tackle the problem.

She cited examples where a pacemaker costs double the price or $26,000 more if it was delivered through the private system rather than public.

Likewise a common hip replacement cost as low as $4000 in the public system versus $6000 for private patients.

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