Australia budget promises more digging on reimbursement, fees

An analysis of Australia's federal budget released this week showed that healthcare remains a sharp cost focus, though a bit less compared with the aggressive reforms proposed by the government last year. Still, reforms include a proposed two-year detailed review of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and Medicare Benefits Schedule aimed at funding changes that go beyond patient co-pays by linking cuts to reimbursement rates for doctors, as well as services in fields like radiology, and pathology. One area of focus is the potential higher costs of newer treatments for cancer and other chronic diseases that have been a source of contention between the government and industry group Medicines Australia. Report