Annual Review 2014 a showcase of the vital work undertaken this year

Policy & Research Report

Lucy Cheetham, Director, Policy & Research

In 2014 the APHA had the opportunity to contribute to major macro-level reviews on Mental Health and Competition Policy.   At the micro-level APHA closely monitored trends within the industry, including the impact of new health insurance products, many of which include restrictions and exclusions.  APHA also continued to monitor trends in private health insurance membership and payment of benefits for hospital services. Engagement with government committees and working groups at the State and Federal level continued and expanded. As in previous years, many APHA members volunteered their expertise and time to represent APHA and private hospitals on these groups. The fact that APHA is recognised as the industry leader in terms of advocacy and contribution to policy formulation and discussion is due in large part to the people who make the time to attend meetings, comment on submissions and give the benefit of their experience and advice.  Meke Kamps, Manager Data and Research and I always appreciate the time taken by members to respond to our invitations to provide comment on the many issues upon which the APHA is invited to comment and to share their insights into the industry we serve.

Policy Submissions and Consultations in 2014

APHA made submissions to government bodies over the year on the following topics:

  • The Competition Policy Review
  • The Mental Health Review
  • Growth trends in hospital care funded through private health insurance including growth in care provided by public hospitals
  • The impact of exclusionary and restricted health insurance products on patients
  • Implementation of recommendations arising from the 2013 Chemotherapy Funding Review
  • Trends in Registered Nurse Accreditation
  • The Review of the Temporary Work (skilled) Visa (subclass 4576) Programme
  • The National Registration and Accreditation Scheme Review for Health Professionals
  • Approval of ‘Area of Need’ positions for overseas trained specialists
  • Future funding arrangements for the PBS and the future of the Community Pharmacy Agreement
  • The Private Health Insurance Act and Second Tier Benefits
  • The appropriate use of the Core Hospital Based Outcome Indicators and the Classification of Hospital Acquired Diagnoses
  • The application of the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards to facilities providing psychiatric, rehabilitation and palliative care services
  • Coordination of Safety Alert and Recall Notifications for medical devices and drugs
  • The Federal Governments Proposed Paid Parental Leave Scheme

In addition APHA provided advice to the following consultations:

  • Various consultations held by the Australian Medical Board and the Nursing and Midwifery Board
  • Various consultations held by the Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council
  • Various consultations held by Health Workforce Australian including extensive discussions on the challenges posed by shortages in the nursing workforce

APHA’s public submissions are available on our website at: http://www.apha.org.au/advocacy/submissions/

APHA’s National Representation

APHA is represented on many Federal and State Committees and Advisory Groups. At the Federal level, these include:

  • The Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care and associated committees and working parties of the Commission including The Private Sector Advisory Committee
  • The Board  of Australian Council for Healthcare Standards and committees of the Council
  • The Department of Veterans’ Affairs Pay for Performance (P4P) Advisory Committee
  • The National Health Performance Authority’s Advisory Committee for Private Hospitals
  • The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s  Private Hospitals Committee
  • The National Blood Authority’s Haemovigilance Advisory Committee
  • The Medical Training Review Panel (MTRP) (until it was disbanded in October 2014)
  • The National Medical Training Advisory Network
  • The Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council Board
  • The Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council Joint Training Package Advisory Committee
  • The Prostheses Listing Advisory Committee
  • The Health Technology Assessment Consultative Advisory Committee
  • The Australian Consortium for Classification Development DRG and IRG working groups
  • Health Workforce Australia NGO/Private Sector Stakeholder Group and associated project advisory groups (until closure of HWA in July 2014)
  • The Independent Hospital Price Authority NGO/Private Sector Stakeholder Group and associate project advisory groups.