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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Patient safety and access to essential cardiac services must take priority over pricing review

Health Industry Hub | November 9, 2022 |

MedTech News: Under the current Prostheses List reform proposals, there is no guarantee that cardiac technical services for patients with cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) will be covered by private health insurance after July 2023.

Tanya Hall, CEO of hearts4heart and Dr Michael Davis, Consultant Cardiologist at Perth Cardiovascular Institute, Hollywood Private Hospital joined Health Industry Hub to advocate for the urgent need for a sustainable funding pathway for cardiac technical services in the private health system.

Dr Davis reflected on why cardiac technical services are essential and how they optimise patient care. He discussed how the delivery of these services differ in the public system compared with the private health system and the consequences if patient access to these services ceases.

He said “There wouldn’t be a single day that goes by where I don’t have some feedback or interaction with industry [cardiac] technicians. It may be getting them to check one of these patients or come in and do a clinic. But often it’s providing service for the remote monitoring systems that exist for their devices where they alert me to something that’s going on or they give advice.

“The other thing about having industry based technicians is they have a whole hierarchy of more senior technicians above them… If we have an issue that we need resolved, they will go to this higher level of support that just doesn’t exist if you’re relying on your own in-house technicians. I don’t know that the companies are going to want to provide any of those services if their funding is withdrawn through the reduction in the amount they receive for the device implant.”

hearts4heart has launched a new campaign calling on the Health Minister Hon. Mark Butler MP for a sustainable funding pathway for cardiac technical services.

Ms Hall said “The government absolutely needs to ensure that there is a funding pathway for cardiac services and to understand the implications if there is not. I think, that’s potentially the missing link here. The private health insurance companies also need to be honest and compare apples for apples. This is about patients having access. The PL only takes up a certain amount…we support the review of pricing, but not if there’s going to be negative consequences for cardiac patients as a result. Patient safety and patient access must come first.”

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