Out of Pocket Costs and Digital Health

Following the recent ABC Four Corners program, out of pocket costs for health care have continued to hit the headlines.

There was much coverage of Louisa Gordon’s findings:

Out-of-pocket medical expenses for Queenslanders with a major cancer

Louisa G Gordon, Thomas M Elliott, Catherine M Olsen, Nirmala Pandeya and David C Whiteman

Med J Aust || doi: 10.5694/mja17.00815
Published online: 11 June 2018


Croakey Article - Out-of-pocket costs for healthcare are a problem for all Australians

SMH Article

Whilst an ANZ Melbourne Institute’s Health Trends – Specialists report highlighted the wide variation in fees and earnings among medical specialists, pointing to the need for more transparency in healthcare charges.  Read more.


Digital Health

Meanwhile a report, developed after an expert roundtable initiated by the Consumers Health Forum and The George Institute for Global Health, argues that “the time is now ripe” to support the expansion of digital health technology in vital areas including chronic care and residential aged care.

The recommendations identified by the roundtable included:

In chronic care: To trial virtual care teams to support patients with high care needs; and trial a “Patients Like Me” platform to enable patients with chronic and complex care needs to safely connect and share experiences with one another.

In residential aged care: Ensure that residents’ health and social services information is available in a single location, on a platform easily accessible by consumers and providers anywhere, anytime and on any device.  Collate and publicise data that allows patients, their carers and future consumers to compare residential care facilities based on health outcomes and patient experiences.

In emergency care: Develop digital health technologies that leverage My Health Record data to be rapidly accessible to paramedics and other emergency providers; develop a text/image message system to support improved communication between emergency care and other medical teams and assist with referrals to other health care providers for post-discharge care.

In end of life care: Develop and promote existing professional and consumer portals that provider information on care options, medical services and pathways for those nearing end of life; and engage in targeted social media campaigns to encourage consumers and medical professionals to normalise conversations about death.

Press Release