Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Audit Commission Report Will Be Released In Eight Days Time.

From an AFR Article.

Hockey outlines budget hit-list


Hockey outlines budget hit-list Anticipating widespread anger on budget night, Treasurer Joe Hockey said those who will ask “what’s in it for me’’ would be told “a better future”. Photo: Louise Kennerley
Phillip Coorey Chief political correspondent
The May budget will increase means testing, introduce co-payments for benefits and slash spending on key services as part of a plan to more than halve expenditure growth and return the budget to surplus within six years.
Treasurer Joe Hockey used a speech in Sydney to forecast that reducing real spending growth to 1.75 per cent will eradicate the budget deficit in five years, achieve a small surplus in 2019-20, and a surplus equivalent to 1 per cent of gross domestic product by 2023-24.
Citing findings of the Commission of Audit, which makes 86 recommendations and will be released next Thursday, Mr Hockey identified pensions, health, welfare, education and defence as targets because they are the fastest-growing areas of expenditure.

Here is the link to the much longer article.

http://www.afr.com/p/national/hockey_outlines_budget_hit_list_wOkSKpjKyp24ZW7juXqRzN

Now you know.

David.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

If they cut spending across the board, but keep spending on the PCEHR, then something smells.

There is no evidence that the PCEHR has saved any money or even that it will save money.

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

If they are going to try to keep the PCEHR and fix its problems (which I think are fundamental and which require a whole strategy rethink, not just the IT system that is the PCEHR - but that is probably politically difficult), then IMHO, the absolute minimum is to address two issues - the fragility of health software:

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/526826/heartbleed-bodes-ill-for-sensitive-health-data/
Heartbleed Bodes Ill for Sensitive Health Data

Research suggests that electronic health information is particularly vulnerable to software bugs.

and security:

FBI warns healthcare info security is 'too lax'
Jim Finkle
itNews
Apr 24, 2014 7:10 AM (1 hour ago)
http://www.itnews.com.au/News/383638,fbi-warns-healthcare-info-security-is-too-lax.aspx

Secret memo warns providers to lift their game.

The FBI has warned US healthcare providers their cybersecurity systems are lax compared to other sectors, making them vulnerable to attacks by hackers searching for customers' personal medical records and health insurance data.

Both of these are USA reports, but I'd be surprised if they do not apply in Australia - even more so.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't do DHS's credibility much good:

Crackdown on Medicare rorting by doctors falls $128 million short
http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/crackdown-on-medicare-rorting-by-doctors-falls-128-million-short-20140424-zqy11.html

The Department of Human Services botched a massive crackdown on Medicare rorting by doctors, leaving taxpayers with a $128 million shortfall.

A damning report by the Auditor-General has raised serious questions about the ability of the department to safeguard the integrity of the $19 billion Medicare program.

In 2008, the Rudd government allocated $77 million over four years to the Department of Human Services to increase the number of audits it completed on doctors' Medicare claiming each year from 500 to 2500. The audits, which examine whether doctors are actually delivering the services they are billing Medicare for, was supposed to recover $147 million to deliver a net saving of $70 million.

But a report on the program by the Australian National Audit Office, tabled in Federal Parliament on Wednesday, showed the department identified incorrect claims of $49 million while actually recovering less than $19 million over this period, leaving a shortfall of more than $128 million.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bernard, I would suggest the sticky question would be, just how would you turn the PCEHR off? Would those who have registered need to firstly opt out, how expensive would the roll back cost? Would there need to be very public legislation required?

I don't know the answers, however I wonder just how difficult it would be at a national level?

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

Anon re: "Hi Bernard, I would suggest the sticky question would be, just how would you turn the PCEHR off?"

I have no knowledge of the PCEHR other than that which is publicly available.

How about:

Disable new registrations and any uploads of new information. In other words, allow read, delete and/or amend, but not create (as per the CRUD model). With the proviso that, under special circumstances that can be medically justified, new data can be added.

Put up a warning that as of a particular date the system will be unavailable and provide an email address for feedback or comment.

Analyse the feedback, identify and count those who find the system critical for their needs and/or high value.

Divide $1billion by the number of people who claim the system is valuable to them as health professionals or as patients.

Ask the budget razor gang, sorry, the Expenditure Review Committee, if that number is acceptable to the community.

If not, disconnect from external access on the date advised.

Get the ANAO to review the whole ehealth business from start to finish.

Anonymous said...

Just switch it off at the plug
No one will notice, and it will lower carbon emissions.