Macular Disease Foundation Australia (MDFA) is continuing its work to advocate for access to affordable eye injections in the face of a proposal to cut Medicare rebates for IVI treatment by 69%.
In June MDFA CEO Dee Hopkins and Medical Committee Chair Associate Professor Alex Hunyor met Minister Greg Hunt at Parliament House to discuss the recommendations which were made by the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce.
“My priority is to ensure that more people, rather than less, access treatment for macular disease. Patients’ optimal health is central to decision making on this matter,” Minister Hunt told MDFA.
The Health Minister also said he wants a decision on the matter to be made as soon as possible to allay patients’ concerns.
MDFA has been invited by Minister Hunt to be part of the ILG that will ensure patients’ needs and best interests will inform the decision-making process
Implementation Liaison Group to be Established
Over the coming months, the Minister will establish an Implementation Liaison Group (ILG) to guide the process of implementation of the MBS Review Ophthalmology recommendations and ensure that these don’t have unintended consequences for patients.
“MDFA has been invited by Minister Hunt to be part of the ILG that will ensure patients’ needs and best interests will inform the decision-making process,” Ms Hopkins said.
MDFA has presented the Minister with a detailed report compiled by PwC outlining alternative costed models of care that would increase access for eye injections, which he had previously requested.
The report included detailed calculations on the cost of doing nothing and the unintended consequences of cost shifting to other parts of the health and welfare systems.
The models include the establishment of more regional clinics, injections by optometry under ophthalmologists’ supervision and improved communication of treatment costs in private clinics (informed financial consent).
- MDFA Access to Affordable Eye Injections for Wet AMD Treatment survey (2020). Survey was conducted as part of the PwC Estimating the costs and associated impact of new models of care for intravitreal injections report (2020) (Unpublished).