Over 150 potentially low-value health care practices: an Australian study

In 2009, the Australian government made announcements supporting an Evidence-Based Medicare Benefits Schedule, building on the initial Quality Framework established in 2010. The project highlighted in this article sought to create and roll-out a clear, open, evidence-based rubric for identifying potentially low-value services in health care.

Limited resources mean that nations cannot escape having to make difficult health care choices. Identifying and reducing the use of low-value care is becoming a priority for an increasing number of jurisdictions. Each recognises that cost savings or cost-neutral changes can be made within existing health budgets by reducing the use of existing services that offer little or no benefit relative to the cost of their public subsidy. This would allow funding to be reallocated to more beneficial or cost-effective services, thus maximising health gain. We share this project as a step towards fulfilling that objective

Read more in the Medical Journal of Australia.

Challenges in Australian policy processes for disinvestment from existing, ineffective health care practices

In Australia, the government has taken many steps to avoid funding ineffective treatments. However, there have been many issues with creating public policy, including lack of evidence for or against many existing interventions.

The term disinvestment in health care is gaining prominence internationally. It relates to the processes of (partially or completely) withdrawing health resources from any existing health care practices, procedures, technologies or pharmaceuticals that are deemed to deliver little or no health gain for their cost, and thus are not efficient health resource allocations. The goal of reducing the use of ineffective technologies or practices has been central to Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) for well over a decade.

Read more in Aust New Zealand Health Policy via PubMed.