Regulator approves nib and Honeysuckle Health buying group

30 Sep 2021

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) decision to allow the formation of the nib and Honeysuckle Health buying group.

The AMA has been actively pressuring the ACCC on this issue, with several submissions and in-person representations outlining the AMA's concerns about the potential for managed care.

The ACCC’s final decision did not reject the application for authorisation, however, it did accept the AMA’s argument that the original proposal from Honeysuckle Health would give it excessive market power and contravene competition laws.

AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid said that while the ACCC decision is not the ideal outcome, "the final authorisation looks vastly different from what was originally proposed and some of our worst fears have been allayed. Indeed, in its final decision the ACCC even backed away from its earlier draft decision proposing to allow the major PHIs to be part of the Honeysuckle Health Clinical Partners Program."

The AMA remains steadfastly opposed to the introduction of a managed care system, and this remains a key advocacy issue going forward.