On this page
- Exciting new plastic surgical research collaborative
- Health professionals learning adaptation in response to unanticipated circumstances
- Expressions of Interest sought for Professional Development Facilitators
- Aligning public information on Australian COVID-19 vaccines
- Changes to the Prostheses List and the risks associated with AR-DRGs
Exciting new plastic surgical research collaborative
ACTPRAS (Australian Clinical Trials Plastic, Reconstructive, Aesthetic, Surgery) is the plastic surgery collaborative research network for Australia & New Zealand, established as part of the Clinical Trials Australia & New Zealand (CTANZ) initiative. ACTPRAS is endorsed by ASPS and ASAPS.
The main aim is to support the development of prospective, multicentre clinical research in Australia and New Zealand and engage international partners.
Early projects have already successfully collaborated with researchers in the UK and are awaiting publication. Ongoing projects started with the help of ACTPRAS are available to view on the website.
The group is currently recruiting for its inaugural committee and Medical students through to fellows are encouraged to join.
A Zoom information night will be held on 17 August 2021 at 7pm (AEST) to clarify the roles and offer a Q&A session. We invite all to attend and enrol, from established researchers wishing to expand their networks, to those trying to get involved at a grassroots level.
Dr Andrew Lewandowski (SET Lead)
Dr Guy Stanley (Pre-SET Lead)
Health professionals learning adaptation in response to unanticipated circumstances
The University of Sydney, Monash University and Harvard Medical School (USA) are conducting research interviews to understand the strategies health professionals use to approach formal and informal learning activities.
The Zoom interviews will take between 30 and 60 minutes.
Email email@example.com for more information.
Ethics reference 2021/004.
Expressions of Interest sought for Professional Development Facilitators
Prospective faculty are invited to submit an expression of interest (EOI) to join the Surgical Faculty for two courses:
- Induction for Surgical Supervisors and Trainers position description
- Difficult Conversations with Underperforming Trainees position description
Download the position description above for an overview of each course. Faculty selection will be based on the applicant meeting the requirements of the position description.
To submit your expression of interest, please click the relevant link below. If you wish to express interest in both courses, please complete both forms.
- Induction for Surgical Supervisors and Trainers EOI
- Difficult Conversations with Underperforming Trainees EOI
For any queries, please contact the Professional Development Department.
Aligning public information on Australian COVID-19 vaccines
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) COVID-19 Working Group is providing advice to the Australian Government on the COVID-19 vaccination program in Australia.
You may be aware of published ATAGI COVID-19 Working Group advice on priority populations for the initial vaccine rollout, and advice on co-administration of the influenza and COVID-19 vaccines.
ATAGI is currently finalising ATAGI clinical guidance for healthcare providers, which is expected to be made available prior to the commencement of the COVID-19 vaccination program in mid-late February.
ATAGI is seeking support in ensuring clear, consistent messaging to the Australian public and requests colleges and peak bodies to contact them regarding upcoming peak or college statements on COVID-19 vaccination.
In particular, they are interested in working with you on planned statements on COVID-19 vaccine rollout, safety, or evaluation, where you believe ATAGI advice may be incorporated.
To contact the ATAGI COVID-19 Working Group directly to align planned statements or to find out more information on ATAGI advice, please email ATAGI.COVID19WG@health.gov.au. To stay updated you can subscribe to their mailing list for COVID-19 vaccine updates.
Changes to the Prostheses List and the risks associated with AR-DRGs
The Prostheses List, the list of medical devices such as hips and knees, pacemakers and heart valves, and ophthalmic lenses, for which insurers are required to pay a benefit when a policy holder has the relevant coverage, is changing.
The Federal Department of Health has begun informing stakeholders that they will propose the Government consider Australian revised – diagnostic reference groups (AR-DRGs) as the new model for the purchasing and reimbursement of medical devices. Private health insurers have put pressure on the Department to shift to AR-DRGs despite the Prostheses List amounting to just under 10 per cent of their benefit costs. Device prices are continuing to fall according to the latest data provided by the APRA, resulting on private health insurers paying less for medical devices over the last 12 months. In fact, some medical devices have their prices drop by over 30 per cent!
AR-DRGs benefit insurers by saving them money, while also transferring all risks associated with the case-mix away from insurers and onto hospitals. In a recent address to the MedTech industry’s annual conference Ben Harris, the policy director for Private Healthcare Australia (the insurer lobby group) admitted “there are players who would lose out from a move to DRGs”.
This might seem like an argument between insurers, medical device companies, and the department of health, but a shift to AR-DRGs would have real ramifications for Surgeons and Hospitals. AR-DRGs will group patients with similar diagnoses requiring similar hospital services together. Meaning multiple procedures will grouped into a single averaged AR-DRG price. This will see hospitals only receive enough money to cover an average medical device, leaving private patients, who have paid thousands to receive superior products, with standard products.
Surgeons conducting a procedure in which a patient needs a device that costs more than the average price (such as a revision or complex procedure) could be placed under enormous pressure to cut the cost of their procedure by using an inferior, cheaper device or to shift their patient onto the public system.
The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health has not yet approved the departments preferred move to an AR-DRG system saying he is still in information gathering mode. Now is the time for stakeholders, like yourself to speak up and have your opinion in this shift heard.
(Article submitted by Medical Technology Association of Australia)