Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I Have Seen Rent Seeking Before But This Is A Really Great Example!

There was a white paper produced a little while ago.

One in Four Lives

The Future of Telehealth in Australia

March 2014
·         Lisa Altman
·         Shehaan Fernando
·         Samuel Holt
·         Anthony Maeder
·         George Margelis
·         Gary Morgan
·         Suzanne Roche
Here is the direct link.
Here is an article on the release of the white paper.

Calls for national telehealth strategy

By Australian Ageing Agenda on March 6, 2014 in Technology

One In Four Lives group speaker Dr George Margelis presenting the white paper to MP Steve Irons, chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health
The Federal Government is being urged to develop a national strategy for telehealth as an effective way to help rein in Australia’s ballooning health budget deficit.
A collaboration of health industry stakeholders, One In Four Lives, released a white paper in Canberra on Wednesday to promote the adoption of telehealth nationally.
The group, whose members include the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIC), BT, anywhere healthcare, Philips, and the University of Western Sydney, said telehealth could save $4 billion a year in avoidable hospital presentations related to chronic conditions.
The group said its name reflected the fact that almost six million, or one in four Australians, were affected by chronic health conditions. This accounted for 60 per cent of all hospital bed days and an estimated $17 billion annually in public health costs, it said.
The white paper said that the Australian health system was not sustainable in its current form. It cited Treasury modelling that predicted healthcare costs would consume more than 100 per cent of the entire revenue collected by the states by 2046.
Chair of the body, BT’s director of health Lisa Altman, said the aim was to encourage industry participation in the large-scale adoption of telehealth – providing faster, more efficient healthcare solutions without imposing an additional burden on the health budget.
Ms Altman said the evidence base for telehealth already existed, through large scale deployments such as the Department of Veterans Affairs in the US and the Whole System Demonstrator Program in the UK.

Lots more here:
There is also coverage here:

Telehealth could save "unsustainable" federal health budget, according to a white paper

A national strategy for Telehealth could save the federal government about $4 billion
A national strategy for Telehealth could save the federal government about $4 billion and help rein in an unsustainable health budget.
One In Four Lives, a group of industry stakeholders, has released a white paper in Canberra, to stimulate discussion and is urging the government to start a national scheme to take control of a ballooning health budget.
The One In Four Lives group estimates that Telehealth has the ability to slash Australia’s public hospital costs by about $4 billion a year in avoidable hospital presentations related to chronic conditions and improve access to healthcare for the thousands of Australians who wait months to see a doctor.
The name of the new body reflects the fact that almost six million, or one in four Australians, are affected by chronic health conditions.
This is a major burden on the health budget, accounting for 60 percent of all hospital bed days and an estimated $17 billion annually in public health costs.
The white paper recognises that the Australian health system is not sustainable in its current form.
Treasury modelling predicts that on current trends health care costs will consume more than 100 percent of the entire revenue collected by the states by 2046.
One In Four Lives is a collaboration of organisations representing a broad range of the health industry, including The Australian Information Industry Association, BT, anywhere healthcare, Philips and the University of Western Sydney.
Lots more here:
Disappointingly the white paper is really sad.
It is 8 pages long - rehearses all the information we know about rising health costs and - with very little evidence - suggests all sorts of additional MBS funding for the sector to make money for all the providers of bandwidth, equipment and the clinicians.
All these experts somehow want the Government to develop a National Telehealth Strategy rather than doing to work to propose one themselves!
The white paper has a total of seven references
1. Australian Bureau of Statistics,  Profiles of Health , Australia,  2011-13 [excluding Cancer, Arthritis and Osteoporosis]
2. Towards a National Strategy for Telehealth in Australia 2013- 2018, Australasian Telehealth Society, 2013
3. A National Telehealth Strategy for Australia, Australian National Consultative Committee for Electronic Health, 2012
4. Caring for the last 3%: Telehealth Potential and Broadband Implications for Rural Australia, CSIRO, Nov 2012.
5. National Digital Economy Strategy, Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, 2012.
6. Supporting a Telehealth Strategy for Australia, Medical Technology Association of Australia, May 2012
(Also: Developing a comprehensive Telehealth Policy for Australia, Medical Technology Association of Australia, Dec 2012)
7. Telemedicine in the context of the National Broadband Network, National ICT Australia report for Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, June 2010.
I list these to point out none appear to be literature / evidence reviews and are all older than 12 months - i.e. created under a different Federal health minister. I can't see the present Government lifting a finger without a really high quality business case at the least!
Interestingly  calling a report One In Four Lives seems to have some rather absurd assumption that every person with a chronic illness needs and will benefit from telehealth!
As they say - Nothing to see or going on here, move on!
David.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

These people are HYPE-UP merchants of the first order. Let's see the business case and the system business process design logic telling us exactly how the telehealth system they are advocating will work including who will be at each end of the telehealth system. That's good for starters.

Bruce Farnell said...

It certainly has many of the hallmarks of a 'solution' looking for a problem to solve. These projects are only as good as their weakest assumption and it usually doesn't take long to find at least one.

I suppose we have all seen a lot of 'solutions' looking for a problem in health IT over the years. I have just developed my own 8 point system for identifying them:

1. Benefits of the solution are overstated - often with excessive jargon in the proposal
2. Underpinned by untested or weak assumptions
3. Limited or absent performance metrics
4. Limited or absent rigorous cost/benefit analysis
5. Downplay or understate implementation difficulties or issues
6. Used as a vehicle to promote a single vendor solution
7. Simple solution to complex and poorly defined problem(s)
8. Try to ignore or don't address real-world workflow issues

or BULLDUST for short.

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

Good one Bruce.
Seems to describe the PCEHR perfectly.