Issues facing the Australian Health Technology Assessment Review of medical technology funding.

TitleIssues facing the Australian Health Technology Assessment Review of medical technology funding.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsO'Malley SP
JournalThe Medical journal of Australia
Volume193
Issue1
Pagination30-3
Date Published2010 Jul 5
ISSN0025-729X
KeywordsAdvisory Committees; Australia; Biomedical Technology; Financing, Government; Technology Assessment, Biomedical
AbstractThe Australian Health Technology Assessment Review has the potential to have a major effect on the availability of new medical technology and the listing of associated medical procedures on the Medicare Benefits Schedule. Despite this, only about 15% of submissions to the Review came from "medical associations". Pharmaceutical and medical technologies are inherently different, and there are a number of difficulties associated with evaluating medical technology using the same process and evidence levels as those used for pharmaceuticals. The current sequential and lengthy processing of new medical technology and procedures is delaying access to beneficial medical technology and could be substantially reduced. There is currently no effective funding process for medical technology classified as capital equipment or consumables and disposables. This has created a perverse incentive in favour of using funded implantable prostheses based on access to funding rather than superior clinical effectiveness. The existing horizon scanning process could be better used to not only identify all potentially cost-effective new and emerging medical technology and procedures as early as possible, but also to identify gaps in the evidence.
Alternate JournalMed. J. Aust.