February 1, 2020 marked the final price reduction for devices on the Prostheses List as per an agreement (the Agreement) between the Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) and the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt MP, entered into on October 2017.
Price cuts under the Agreement have already saved insurers a total of A$390 million and the savings are on track to exceed the A$1.1 billion in total expected by 2022. Between the Agreement and the 7.5% benefit reduction for hip prostheses announced by then-Minister for Health Sussan Ley in October 2016, the medical devices sector has undergone four significant price cuts.
“Every day we at Stryker are driven by our mission to make healthcare better for patients, that includes ensuring Australians have access to affordable, high quality medical technology” said Maurice Ben-Mayor, President of Stryker South Pacific.
“We believe that the Prostheses List is an effective, transparent mechanism to protect patients from out-of-pocket costs and guarantee choice of the most clinically effective prostheses for their individual needs.
“The MTAA’s Prostheses List Agreement was modelled on the assumption that private health insurers would pass the A$1.1 billion of savings from medical device price cuts onto their members in the form of lower private health insurance premiums.
“Unfortunately, I have seen little evidence that these savings have been passed on in full to consumers.”