- Health spending in Australia is $160bn, or 10% GDP, and growing due to an aging population.
- Australia has a publically funded health system that is supplemented by private for-profit healthcare providers and hospitals, funded largely through private health insurance. About half of Australians are covered by private health insurance.
- Healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, device manufacturers and private health insurers, all face a complex regulatory burden.
- Individual healthcare providers including doctors, nurses and other health professions are subject to a common professional regulatory framework administered through a single regulator.
- Digitisation and connectivity of health information to support efficient communication and patient care, such as the MyHealth Record System, the National Cancer Screening Register, as well as numerous initiatives for digitised health records and care administration at public and private institutions.
- Close scrutiny of both the private insurers and healthcare providers by the consumer protection regulator.
- Innovative telehealth alternatives enabled by a variety of communication technologies and interfaces. At times, the law lags behind the fast moving technology.
- Use of analytics to improve care and drive efficiency in the sector, including by linking payment for services to patient outcomes.
Hive Legal’s work in the sector
- Assisting Telstra Health in a range of significant matters, including implementing and operating the National Cancer Screening Register.
- Assisting Medibank Private Limited, the largest private health insurer in Australia, with a broad range of advisory work and complex contracts with providers.
- Act for both public and private hospital providers and providers of outpatient medical services, including providers of innovative telemedicine offerings, with services and advice in commercial, regulatory and strategic contexts.
- Assisted government agencies in health sector matters, including procurement of disability services.
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