The AMA has released a discussion paper revealing that more integrated healthcare funding models that provide better and earlier care for elderly Australians could save the economy more than $31 billion.
The discussion paper sheds light on the vulnerabilities of Australia’s current health funding system as it struggles to adapt to an ageing population, a higher rate of chronic disease, workforce shortages and inequitable access to healthcare.
The Rethinking funding models to align with population health goals discussion paper argues health funding in Australia ― with multiple funders across a public-private system and several levels of government ― is at times complex and has resulted in a healthcare system where there is little incentive for governments to prioritise prevention and early intervention.
The discussion paper explores new funding models to tackle existing health issues and incentivise funders to prioritise preventive care and early intervention, including single-payer models for populations at high risk of preventable hospitalisations, where a single entity ― usually a government ― is responsible for funding the care for those populations.
In the context of these populations, a single-payer model can create incentives for improved outcomes by concentrating the funding for a patient’s journey with one entity (rather than multiple bodies) to support patients to access the care they need.
Read the discussion paper