a turning point for healthcare affordability?

Is the Medicare Incentive Increase a Turning Point for Healthcare Affordability in Australia?

The Australian Government’s decision to significantly increase the bulk billing incentive for GPs, effective from November 1, 2023, could be a major step in enhancing access to affordable healthcare. This increase, which raises the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) incentive from $13.15 to $39.65 for Commonwealth concession card holders and children under 16, is expected to substantially reduce out-of-pocket expenses for these groups.

Much of the recent research conducted by Fifth Quadrant regarding primary healthcare has emphasised increasing healthcare affordability and accessibility issues as cost-of-living pressures bite. Accordingly, it was interesting to review all the relevant articles that have been published to assess the tone of the response to these increased incentives.

The general view is very positive as detailed below:

In summary, the tripling of the bulk billing incentive is a significant move by the Australian Government to improve healthcare affordability and access. It is well-received by both healthcare providers and consumer groups, though there is a consensus on the need for ongoing reforms to address deeper systemic issues in the healthcare system.

Fifth Quadrant will provide ongoing updates regarding the impact of these changes to determine if the benefits are being realised by both the patient and the healthcare providers.

For further information regarding how billing models are evolving please see the latest CBA GP Insights research conducted by Fifth Quadrant in 2023.

The Fifth Quadrant team has a depth of experience in healthcare market research. To learn more about our capabilities or if you have a brief to share, please get in touch below.