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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin February 2011
17 FEBRUARY 2011 Dental fees survey shows dentists have kept lid on fee increases national dental update The  year's end welcomes new published statistics that allow for comparisons as to how various health sectors have fared over the past 12 months. This edition of the National Dental Update examines health insurance premiums, health expenditure, the consumer price index, and dental fees. HEALTH INSURANCE Each year the Australian Health Minister permits private health insurance funds to alter the premiums on their policies. On 1 April 2010, private health insurance premiums rose an average of 5.8%. Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, argued that the premiums increase in 2010 was actually lower than last year's increase of 6.0%, although it was higher than 2008's rise of 4.99%. Increases to private health insurance premiums have been well above CPI increases over the last few years. Discussions are currently taking place between insurers and government in respect to the setting of next year's insurance premiums. CONSUMER PRICE INDEX The weighted average of eight capital cities, Health CPI from the September 2009 quarter until the September 2010 quarter saw a 5.2% increase. In the same period, all categories rose by an average of 2.8%. HEALTH EXPENDITURE According to a new report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), Health Expenditure Australia 2008- 09, total expenditure on health in Australia reached $112.8 billion in 2008--09, which averaged out at $5,190 per Australian. After adjusting for inflation, total health expenditure grew by 6.0% in real terms from 2007--08. DENTAL FEES The Australian Dental Association's (ADA) Dental Fees Survey 2010 surveyed dentists as to their usual fees charged, as at 1 July 2010, for 70 common items of service. This represents 88% of all service items provided by dentists in Australia. The questionnaire is sent to 50% of the general practitioner members in the larger States, 100% of general practitioner members in SA, WA, TAS, ACT, and NT and 100% of specialist members in all states and territories. The response rate is significant. Annual fee increase rates since 2009 were generally in the range of 1% to 4%. This year the Survey indicates an overall 2.9% increase for all items surveyed. "The ADA Fees Survey 2010 results indicate that dentists are doing what they can to manage dental fees despite the increasing administrative burdens that are being imposed. While overheads remain high for these predominantly single practitioner dental practices, the 2.9% increase is well below CPI increases, private health insurance increases and health cost indices", commented ADA President, Dr Shane Fryer. GENERAL While most health costs increased in the range of 5.2% to 6%, dentists have been able to constrain costs to a level well below this with average fees increasing by only 2.9%. The ADA hopes that with this information, organisations such as private health insurers will do what they can to provide better financial outcomes to their customers without interfering in the relationship between the patient and their dentist. The disparity between fees charged and dental rebates paid by insurers remains high and the differential seems to be increasing rather than narrowing. Source: National Dental Update, December 2010. The ADA National Dental Update is a monthly publication distributed to politicians and opinion leaders. Other issues can be viewed at www.ada.org.au IL BORRO II Interdisciplinary Dental Conference 23-27 May 2011 San Giustino, Valderno Tuscany Italy Due to a couple of late cancellations, there exists a few places in this exciting conference with varied and informative lectures. Be quick for your chance to participate in this conference. For information Contact Dr Chris Cole email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ADA News Bulletin December 2010
ADA News Bulletin March 2011