Charging for public health services could help save the health system

Charging for public health services could help save the health system

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the importance of “price signals” for health services that the community has come to regard as typically “free”. The idea is that if we charge people a small “co-payment” for emergency services or bulk-billed GP visits (say around $5-$6 a visit) then this gives signals to the… 

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Driving treatment outcomes in favour of the patient

Driving treatment outcomes in favour of the patient

A recent article in the Financial Review (Stephen Duckett Next step in health reform, p47, AFR 3/7/13) explained how Australian general practitioners are remunerated primarily on a fee per visit basis. There is clear commercial incentive here to maximise the number of visits. I can’t see how that model of remuneration is going to deliver… 

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Why paying full rate for private rooms is good for the public health system

Why paying full rate for private rooms is good for the public health system

Westfund is committed to supporting the public health system by paying the full rate for private rooms used by our members in public hospitals. Recent media reports seem to suggest that some “for profit” funds are putting public hospitals under pressure by refusing to pay the full day rate for private rooms. It’s worth noting… 

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Electing to be treated as a public patient. Remember, it’s your call.

Electing to be treated as a public patient. Remember, it’s your call.

Many people simply don’t realise that when you have private health cover for yourself or your family you are still entitled to be treated as public patient in a public hospital if that is your preference. The choice is entirely yours.At Westfund we regularly hear stories about public hospital admission managers who make assumptions about… 

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Limiting free public hospital care to low income earners

Limiting free public hospital care to low income earners

Concerns about the sustainability of our current model for funding health services generate plenty of newspaper column inches. This really come as no surprise to those of us who have watched these medical funding dilemmas play out in other countries. The USA experience is particularly relevant because many of the problems there related to managed… 

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