Commentary on the private practice implications of the Deed of Settlement in the Honeysuckle Health – NIB Australian-Competition-Tribunal-hearing

Jeffrey C. L. Looi, Gary Galambos, William Pring, Stephen Allison, Tarun Bastiampillai, Stephen R. Kisely

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To provide a commentary on the implications of the Deed of Settlement in the Honeysuckle Health – nib Australian-Competition-Tribunal Hearing. This hearing has major implications in relation to the potential for a single dominant private-health-insurance buying-group to contract for medical-purchaser-provider-agreements that might limit the clinical autonomy of patients and psychiatrists.

Conclusions: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) authorised the formation of a joint buying-group for private-health-insurers in 2021 to provide collective contracting and related services to private-health-insurers and other healthcare-payers. A consequent legal challenge resulted in a Deed of Settlement on 18 July 2022 that for 5 years preserves doctor-patient autonomy in clinical decision-making, the medical gaps scheme, the transparency of contractual arrangements, and if clinical data of those insured are collected by HH-nib, it must be with the full informed consent of patients. However, there remain options for private-health-insurers to apply for formation of new buying-groups, as well as to collect data and profile the general public and insured patients using online programs. Vigilance on private-health-insurer buying-groups, and the potential for US-style managed-care is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-64
Number of pages4
JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
Volume31
Issue number1
Early online date23 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Keywords

  • Buying-Group
  • Clinical independence
  • Doctor-patient relationship
  • Managed-care
  • Private-health-insurance

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