Online version of the 2014-15 Department of Health Annual Report

Outcome 3: Access to Medical and Dental Services

Access to cost-effective medical, dental, allied health and hearing services, including through implementing targeted medical assistance strategies, and providing Medicare subsidies for clinically relevant services and hearing devices to eligible people

Page last updated: 17 July 2019

Major Achievements

  • Paid almost $20.2 billion in Medicare benefits in 2014-15, for 368 million services. Growth in Medicare service volumes was 3.1% with an increase in benefits paid of 5.2%.19
  • Made a number of evidence-based changes to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) through the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC), which has resulted in new listings and better targeting of services including significant savings. In 2014-15, there were 22 changes to the MBS, resulting in a combined net saving of $366 million over the forward estimates period.
  • Treated over 400,000 additional public dental patients during the three year National Partnership Agreement on Treating More Public Dental Patients.
  • Provided faster access to hearing services to approximately 600,000 eligible clients since implementing the Hearing Services Online (HSO) portal, including same day access for existing clients and an average of three days wait for new clients, reduced from around four weeks. The portal also saves businesses an estimated $19.1 million annually.
  • Refreshed the MSAC and its sub-committees with a mixture of newly appointed members and reappointment of some previous members, to allow the committees a greater range of expertise.

Challenges

  • Ongoing engagement with the pathology and primary care sectors to address concerns about the administration of Approved (Pathology) Collection Centre arrangements, including enforcement of the prohibited practices provisions under the Health Insurance Act 1973.
  • The 2014-15 Federal Budget provided a set of measures to provide for a strong and sustainable Medicare system. Following consultation with the community the Government refined its policy resulting in the Healthier Medicare initiative.
  • To ensure the sustainability of Medicare, the Department has been developing options for a simpler Medicare Safety Net to be implemented in 2015-16. 
  • Ensuring eligible National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants in trial sites have access to the Hearing Services Programme and access to high quality hearing services.

Looking Ahead

In 2015-16, the Department will support the Government’s Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce, which has been established to consider how services can be aligned with contemporary clinical evidence and improve health outcomes for patients. The Department will also continue to build on the successful reduction in waiting times for public dental patients through the new National Partnership Agreement on Adult Public Dental Services, which will provide treatment for an additional 178,000 adult patients.

Programmes Contributing to Outcome 3

Divisions Contributing to Outcome 3

In 2014-15, Outcome 3 was the responsibility of Acute Care Division, Medical Benefits Division and Population Health Division.

Programme Performance

In 2014-15, the Department worked to achieve this Outcome by managing initiatives under the following programmes.

Trends

The number of Medicare services provided annually grew steadily from 221.4 million in 2002-03 to 368.5 million in 2014-15.

Figure 3.1: Total Medicare services and services per capita

This vertical bar graph shows the increase in total Medicare services and services per capita from 221.4 million in 2002-03 to 368.5 million in 2014-15.

Figure 3.2: Total activity achieved under the National Partnership Agreement on Treating More Public Dental Patients

This line graph shows total activity achieved under the National Partnership Agreement on Treating More Public Dental Patients. The target of 400,000 was significantly exceeded by almost 200,000 Dental Weight Activity Units.

Under the National Partnership Agreement on Treating More Public Dental Patients, there were five performance periods. Performance was measured through Dental Weight Activity Unit (DWAU) counts, where one DWAU was roughly equal to a completed course of care for one adult patient. The periods were set on a cumulative basis where the activity count increased from the first to the last performance period and was measured against the final target of achieving 400,000 DWAUs by March 2015. The table above shows that the DWAUs achieved exceeded the 400,000 target.

Introduction of the HSO portal in February 2014 has reduced the average period between application receipt and voucher issue to three days in 2014-15.

Figure 3.3: Average days between application receipt and voucher issue, 2005-06 to 2014-1520

This vertical bar graph relates to the Hearing Services Programme and shows the decrease in average days between application receipt and voucher issue from approximately 17 days in 2005-06 to approximately 2.5 days in 2014-15.

Programme 3.1: Medicare Services

Programme 3.1 aims to improve access to evidence-based, best-practice medical services.

Sustainability of the Medicare system

In 2014-15, the Government commenced and continues to consult with industry on short, medium and long term options to ensure the Government can keep supporting high quality care and treatment as efficiently as possible.

As a result of consultations, the Government announced a programme of work to modernise and improve Medicare arrangements. The work will be clinician-led and review items on the MBS to consider better models for delivery of primary care services and improve Medicare compliance. In particular, the MBS Review Taskforce will consider how services can be aligned with contemporary clinical evidence and improve health outcomes for patients. On 4 June 2015, the Government appointed some of Australia’s most well-respected health professionals and consumer representatives to work closely with the Government to deliver a healthier Medicare.

Medicare Safety Net

The Department has worked closely with the Department of Human Services and stakeholders on the new Medicare safety net. This work implements a 2014-15 Budget measure to simplify Medicare safety net arrangements and replaces the Greatest Permissible Gap, Original Medicare Safety Net and the Extended Medicare Safety Net which are complex and difficult for both patients and practitioners to navigate and understand. The new Medicare safety net, subject to the passage of legislation, is to commence on 1 January 2016.

Evidence-based and cost-effective care

In 2014-15, under the Comprehensive Management Framework for the MBS (CMFM), the Department continued to undertake evidence-based assessment of new health services and technologies, and identified and reviewed existing services on the MBS to ensure listed items remain clinically relevant and consistent with best practice. The CMFM is supported by the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) which provides independent expert advice to Government relating to the comparative safety, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of medical services.

Qualitative Deliverable: MBS Reviews will analyse the best available evidence to ensure safety, quality and sustainability of the MBS.
2014-15 Reference Point: Any amendments to the MBS recommended by each review reflect current clinical practice based on best available evidence.
Result: Met
A number of systematic, evidence-based reviews were conducted, which led to advice to the MSAC to amend some MBS items to reflect current clinical need. Any proposed changes are developed in consultation with the medical profession, and are considered by the MSAC prior to Government decision making.
Qualitative KPI: Continuation of MSAC process improvement to ensure ongoing improvement in rigour, transparency, consistency, efficiency and timeliness.
2014-15 Reference Point: Greater stakeholder engagement and improved timeliness of the MSAC application assessment process.
Result: Met
The MSAC process is continuing to undergo reform to streamline processes. This is being done in consultation with key stakeholders, including the Australian Medical Association, Medical Technology Association of Australia and Medicines Australia. The Department held information sessions throughout the year with stakeholders, including the contracted Health Technology Assessment Groups and consumers, to provide updates to reforms such as fit-for-purpose pathways and the co-dependent process.

Programme 3.2: Targeted Assistance – Medical

Programme 3.2 aims to provide medical assistance to Australians overseas and support access to necessary medical services that are not available through mainstream mechanisms.

Provide medical assistance following overseas disasters

Through the Disaster Health Care Assistance Schemes, the Department provides financial assistance to eligible Australian victims of disasters occurring overseas, including acts of terrorism, civil disturbances or natural disasters. This assistance, in the form of ex-gratia payments to victims and their families, covers out-of-pocket expenses for health care delivered in Australia for injury or ill health arising from specific disasters. There are six currently active schemes covering events such as the Bali bombings and the Asian tsunami.

In 2014-15, the Department of Human Services paid $574,642 for 2,369 claims on behalf of the Department of Health.

Qualitative Deliverable: Provide health care assistance to eligible Australians overseas in the event of overseas disasters.
2014-15 Reference Point: Assistance is provided in a timely manner.
Result: Met
The Disaster Health Care Assistance Schemes are demand-driven programmes. Eligible people receive reimbursement for out-of-pocket health care expenses related to any injury or illness which has resulted from one of the incidents covered by the Schemes. In 2014-15, all reimbursements were provided in a timely manner.

Support access to necessary medical services which are not available through mainstream mechanisms

The Medical Treatment Overseas Programme provides eligible Australians with funding to access approved medical treatments overseas for life threatening illness, for which treatment is not currently available in Australia. In 2014-15, the Department received 16 applications for financial assistance. Seven applicants received funding to undergo treatment overseas. These applicants were supported by independent expert advice from medical craft groups.

Provide medical assistance to Australians who travel overseas

Through the Australian Government’s Reciprocal Health Care Agreements, access to local health services has continued to be provided for Australians travelling overseas in 11 countries. The Agreements have also continued to enable access to public health services in Australia for visitors from those countries during 2014-15. The Department, in conjunction with the Department of Human Services and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has maintained its role in managing the 11 Agreements.

In 2014-15, some 134,089 MBS services were provided to visitors to Australia under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with a total of $8,889,592 paid in benefits.

National External Breast Prostheses Reimbursement Programme

The National External Breast Prostheses Reimbursement Programme provides a reimbursement of up to $400 for new and replacement external breast prostheses for women who have had a mastectomy as a result of breast cancer. This programme ensures national consistency in the provision of financial support towards the cost of external breast prostheses, and improves the quality of life for women who have undergone mastectomy as a result of breast cancer.

Quantitative KPI: Percentage of claims by eligible women under the national External Breast Prostheses Reimbursement Programme processed within ten days of lodgement.
2014-15 Target: 90%
2014-15 Actual: 98%
Result: Met
During 2014-15, some 14,668 reimbursments were processed under the programme.
Of the 14,668 eligible claims made, 98% were processed within 10 days of lodgement.
11-1212-1313-14
99.8%98%98%

Programme 3.3: Pathology and Diagnostic Imaging Services and Radiation Oncology

Programme 3.3 aims to support access to high quality and affordable pathology services, strengthen the provision of quality diagnostic imaging services, and ensure ongoing affordable and effective use of diagnostic imaging and radiation oncology.

Access to pathology services

The Department manages the provision of quality pathology services through two programmes. The National Pathology Accreditation Programme requires that laboratories be accredited in order to be eligible for MBS rebates. During 2014-15, the Department has continued to work closely with the National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council (NPAAC) on the refinement of the national pathology accreditation framework focusing on strategies that ensure the provision of quality pathology services and minimise potential risks to patient safety. The suite of national accreditation standards have been reviewed and revised to ensure that emerging technologies and best practice are addressed in a comprehensive and transparent manner that also aligns with national and international directions where appropriate.

The Quality Use of Pathology Programme has supported a range of pathology quality initiatives focused on risk minimisation strategies, evidence-based pathology requesting and reporting, and promotion of patient safety.

Quantitative Deliverable: Number of new and/or revised national accreditation standards produced for pathology laboratories.
2014-15 Target: 4
2014-15 Actual: 4
Result: Met
Four revised standards have been published in 2014-15 and there are two standards that are expected to be published early in 2015-16. NPAAC has focused on several comprehensive document reviews and strategic accreditation issues, including publication of best practice guidance materials on Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing and Point of Care Testing.

Access to diagnostic imaging services

The Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme standards have been reviewed in consultation with the sector, and new standards will be introduced from 1 January 2016. The timing of implementation will ensure that diagnostic imaging practices have adequate lead time to prepare for assessment against the new standards, with assistance from revised guidance materials.

A Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) on improving the quality and safety of Medicare-funded diagnostic imaging services through the enhancement of regulatory and accreditation requirements, was released for public consultation. The feedback from this consultation will guide the development of further options for enhancing quality, reducing waste, and minimising harm caused by inappropriate, unnecessary and sub-optimal diagnostic imaging services.

New diagnostic imaging services were added to the Diagnostic Imaging Services Table for cone beam computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for Crohn’s Disease, following Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) evaluations.

The Department has worked with the Diagnostic Imaging Advisory Committee to consider development of policies to support high quality, affordable and cost-effective diagnostic imaging services.

Qualitative KPI: Diagnostic radiology services are effective and safe.
2014-15 Reference Point: Patients have access to diagnostic imaging services that are performed by a suitably qualified professional.
Result: Met
The Department has undertaken a post-implementation review of the Strengthening the Provision of Quality Medicare-Funded Diagnostic Radiology Services measure introduced on 1 November 2012 and has found that on balance the measure was effective at ensuring that diagnostic radiology services are performed by suitably qualified professionals.
Qualitative KPI: The Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme will be reviewed and the standards updated to ensure that Medicare funding is directed to diagnostic imaging services that are safe, effective and responsive to the needs of health care consumers.
2014-15 Reference Point: Enhanced access to high quality and sustainable diagnostic imaging services.
Result: Met
The Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme standards have been reviewed in consultation with the sector, and new standards have been developed, along with supporting documentation to assist diagnostic imaging practices to meet the revised accreditation evidence requirements.

Access to quality radiation oncology services

The Department continues to improve access to high quality radiation oncology services by funding approved equipment, quality programmes and initiatives to support the radiation oncology workforce. The Radiation Oncology Health Program Grants Scheme reimburses service providers for the cost of approved equipment used to provide treatment services. These payments ensure that equipment is replaced at the end of its lifespan so that treatment is delivered with up-to-date technology. The payments complement Medicare benefits payable to patients under Programme 3.1.

Quantitative KPI: The number of sites delivering radiation oncology.
2014-15 Target: 69
2014-15 Actual: 75
Result: Met
By the end of 2014-15, 75 radiation oncology facilities were providing services to patients. This exceeds the 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 targets.
11-1212-1313-14
636669

Expert stakeholder engagement in pathology, diagnostic imaging and radiation oncology

The Department has sought input from expert stakeholders in relation to the revision of diagnostic imaging accreditation standards, to ensure that services provided at diagnostic imaging practices meet appropriate quality and safety standards. Input from expert stakeholders has also been sought in the development of item descriptors for new Medicare-funded diagnostic imaging services.

Stakeholder feedback on improving the quality and safety of Medicare-funded diagnostic imaging services has assisted in the development of the consultation RIS, and contributed to ensuring robust discussions to guide the development of further options for enhancing quality, reducing waste, and minimising harm caused by inappropriate, unnecessary and sub-optimal diagnostic imaging services.

Radiation oncology is a complex area where expert advice is required to develop strategies to respond to incremental advances in technology. Radiation oncology treatment involves sophisticated and expensive technology that substantially improves health outcomes. However, the technology also involves some risks to patients. The Department will continue to work with stakeholders and service providers to ensure that Medicare arrangements appropriately balance costs, benefits and risks.

Qualitative Deliverable: Stakeholder engagement in programme and/or policy development.
2014-15 Reference Point: Engagement of stakeholders through public consultation and stakeholder meetings.
Result: Met
Key stakeholder engagement for diagnostic imaging has occurred through the Diagnostic Imaging Advisory Committee, the Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme Monitoring and Implementation Committee, as well as regular consultation with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists and the Australian Diagnostic Imaging Association.

The Department has worked with stakeholders and service providers to support the delivery of high-quality radiation oncology services that have resulted in better health outcomes for patients.

Programme 3.4: Medical Indemnity

Programme 3.4 aims to ensure the stability of the medical indemnity insurance industry, and that insurance products for medical professionals are available and affordable.

Ensure the stability of the medical indemnity insurance industry

Medical indemnity insurance provides surety to medical practitioners and their patients in the event of an adverse incident resulting from negligence. Affordable and stable medical indemnity insurance allows the medical workforce to focus on the delivery of high quality medical services.

Quantitative KPI: Percentage of medical indemnity insurers who have a Premium Support Scheme contract with the Commonwealth that meets the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s Minimum Capital Requirement.
2014-15 Target: 100%
2014-15 Actual: 100%
Result: Met
In 2014-15, all medical indemnity insurers who have a Premium Support Scheme contract with the Commonwealth met the Minimum Capital Requirement as set by Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.
11-1212-1313-14
100%100%100%

Ensure that insurance products are available and affordable

To assist eligible doctors meet the cost of their medical indemnity insurance, the Government funds the Premium Support Scheme (PSS). PSS assists eligible doctors through a subsidy, paid via their medical indemnity insurer, by reducing their medical indemnity costs when a doctor’s gross indemnity premium exceeds 7.5 per cent of their income.

The Government will ensure that the medical indemnity industry remains stable and secure by subsidising claims resulting in insurance payouts over $300,000 (High Cost Claims Scheme) and by providing a guarantee to cover claims above the limit of doctors’ medical indemnity contracts of insurance, so doctors are not personally liable for very high claims (Exceptional Claims Scheme).

Government-supported, affordable professional indemnity insurance is also available for qualified and experienced privately practising midwives. For eligible claims the Government contributes 80 per cent to the costs of claims above $100,000 and 100 per cent of costs above $2 million.

During 2014-15, one provider of insurance for midwives withdrew its product from the market, potentially leaving some midwives without insurance cover. Where these midwives meet the Commonwealth requirements, they are able to access the Midwife Professional Indemnity Scheme.

Quantitative Deliverable: Percentage of eligible applicants receiving a premium subsidy through the Premium Support Scheme.
2014-15 Target: 100%
2014-15 Actual: 100%
Result: Met
All eligible applicants received a premium subsidy through the Premium Support Scheme in 2014-15.
11-1212-1313-14
100%100%100%
Quantitative Deliverable: Percentage of eligible midwife applicants covered by the Midwife Professional Indemnity Scheme.
2014-15 Target: 100%
2014-15 Actual: 100%
Result: Met
All eligible privately practising midwives who applied for Commonwealth-supported professional indemnity insurance through Medical Insurance Group Australia (MIGA) were offered cover.
11-1212-1313-14
100%100%100%
Qualitative KPI: The continued availability of professional indemnity insurance for eligible midwives.
2014-15 Reference Point: Maintain contract with Medical Insurance Group Australia to provide professional indemnity insurance to eligible midwives.
Result: Met
Eligible private midwives were able to purchase Commonwealth supported professional indemnity insurance from MIGA.
Quantitative KPI: Number of doctors that receive a premium subsidy support through the Premium Support Scheme.
2014-15 Target: 2,100
2014-15 Actual: 1,400
Result: Substantially met
In 2014-15, 1,400 doctors received a premium subsidy. This is a significant result, as it shows a continuing decline in the number of doctors seeking subsidy support and indicates that the measures administered by the Department have contributed to ensuring the industry remains stable through affordable premiums.
11-1212-1313-14
2,1061,8471,613

Programme 3.5: Hearing Services

Programme 3.5 aims to support access to quality hearing services for eligible clients, provide better targeted hearing services, and support research into hearing loss prevention and management.

Support access for eligible clients to quality hearing services

The Hearing Services Programme (the programme) provides a range of fully or partially subsidised hearing services to eligible Australians to manage their hearing loss and improve their engagement with the community.

In 2014-15, the Department engaged with service providers and device manufacturers to reduce red tape by assessing risk and refining procedures and processes relating to contractual and legal obligations under the programme. This included streamlining hearing device approvals processes as well as simplifying programme requirements wherever possible, to free up time for hearing services clients.

The Department implemented improvements to the Hearing Services Online (HSO) portal in consultation with stakeholders, including provision of client history and improved access and search functions. These improvements have increased client choice, created efficiencies for service providers and enhanced access to information for users.

The Department continues to support referred National Disability Insurance Scheme clients to access services under the programme and to fund Australian Hearing to deliver the Community Service Obligations component of the programme to young Australians up to 26 years, complex needs clients, rural and remote Australians and eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

A key challenge in 2014-15 was modelling and understanding the implications for the future transfer of a portion of programme clients to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The Department worked closely with the National Disability Insurance Agency and has commenced engaging with stakeholders to progress this work.

Qualitative Deliverable: Engagement of providers in the risk-based audit programme supports client outcomes and quality service provision.
2014-15 Reference Point: The provider self-assessment process is managed in accordance with contractual requirements.
Result: Met
The annual provider self-assessment process was managed and completed in accordance with contractual requirements, and evaluated for continuous improvement.
Quantitative Deliverable: Number of people who receive voucher services nationally.
2014-15 Target: 713,000
2014-15 Actual: 669,793
Result: Substantially met
The voucher component of the programme is client demand driven, and the projected target is an estimation based on population trends.
11-1212-1313-14
616,639636,389647,545
Qualitative KPI: Policies and programme improvements are developed and implemented in consultation with consumers and service providers.
2014-15 Reference Point: Opportunity for stakeholders to participate in consultations.
Result: Met
Regular, ad-hoc and targeted consultation opportunities were provided to stakeholders throughout 2014-15.
Quantitative KPI: Proportion of voucher applications processed within 14 days.
2014-15 Target: 90%
2014-15 Actual: 99%
Result: Met
The HSO portal, introduced in February 2014, enables online processing of voucher applications.
11-1212-1313-14
98%99%98%
Quantitative KPI: Proportion of claims for a hearing aid fitting that relate to voucher clients who have a hearing loss of greater than 23 decibels.
2014-15 Target: 95%
2014-15 Actual: 94%
Result: Substantially met
There are legislated exceptions which constrain a 100% compliance with this target.
As this is a demand driven programme the target is an annual estimate.
11-1212-1313-14
96%95%94%

Support research into hearing loss prevention and management

The Department continues to support hearing research through the Hearing Loss Prevention Program (HLPP), managed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and Australian Hearing’s research department, the National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL).

In 2014-15, three new projects were awarded funding through the HLPP. These relate to Indigenous children’s ear health, prevention of middle ear infections and the language gap between children with and without permanent hearing loss.

In 2014-15, the NAL received funding to undertake research projects relating to hearing assessment, hearing loss prevention, rehabilitation devices, rehabilitation procedures, and device and engineering development.

Qualitative Deliverable: Research projects underway that aim to contribute to the development of improved policies and service delivery and /or enables the Department to better identify the needs of the community in relation to hearing loss.
2014-15 Reference Point: Research projects are managed in accordance with NHMRC research management guidance.
Result: Met
In 2014-15, the NHMRC approved three new hearing research projects, while continuing to manage seven ongoing projects for the Department.

Programme 3.6: Dental Services

Programme 3.6 aims to improve access to public dental services.

Improve access to public dental services

The National Partnership Agreement on Treating More Public Dental Patients, which expired on 30 June 2015, made available $344 million in Commonwealth funding for the States and Territories over three years. The purpose of the Agreement was to alleviate pressure on public dental waiting lists by providing additional services to around 400,000 public dental patients. By the final performance period, the national target was exceeded.

To further the progress made under this National Partnership Agreement, the Government is providing a further $155 million in funding under the National Partnership Agreement on Adult Public Dental Services during 2015-16.

Qualitative KPI: Improve access to public dental services for public dental patients.
2014-15 Reference Point: Evaluation of the National Partnership Agreement on Treating More Public Dental Patients and associated data, to determine if increased access to dental services has occurred following the conclusion of the Agreement (June 2015).
Result: Met
Ongoing analysis of the programme shows that there was an increase in the number of services provided, and the patients receiving treatment, in every State and Territory during the Agreement’s three year term. By the end of the Agreement, the national target was met and resulted in a reduction in waiting times in nearly all jurisdictions.
Quantitative KPI: Number of additional public dental patients treated, under the National Partnership on Treating More Public Dental Patients, by the States and Territories above agreed baseline.
2014-15 Target: 133,333
2014-15 Actual: 133,333
Result: Met
The additional Commonwealth funding through the National Partnership Agreement enabled the States and Territories to utilise new techniques or expand existing methods to provide more public dental services in that jurisdiction. Each State and Territory had varying methods for how an increase in service delivery was achieved; however most included expanding current voucher schemes and engaging private sector dentists.

Improve access to dental services for children

The Child Dental Benefits Schedule commenced on 1 January 2014, and provides up to $1,000 in benefits, capped over two calendar years, for basic dental services for eligible children 2-17 years of age who meet a means test. In 2014-15, the Department supported the continued implementation of the Child Dental Benefits Schedule, including legislation to improve the programme’s operation.

Improve access to clinically relevant dental services

In 2014-15, the Department commenced work on a statutory review of the Dental Benefits Act 2008.

The statutory review is a legislative requirement of the Dental Benefits Act 2008, to examine the administration of the Act and the extent to which it attains its purposes. The review is conducted by an independent committee to examine how effectively the Child Dental Benefits Schedule is operating under the legislation. It may identify opportunities within the legislation to improve the operation and administration of the Child Dental Benefits Schedule.

Quantitative KPI: Number of children accessing the Child Dental Benefits Schedule.
2014-15 Target: 2.4m
2014-15 Actual: 988,963
Result: Not met
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule is a demand driven, calendar year programme. Claims for benefits may also be made for several years after the date of service.
Qualitative Deliverable: In accordance with legislation, undertake an independent review of the operation of the Dental Benefits Act 2008.
2014-15 Reference Point: Review undertaken as soon as practicable after the sixth anniversary of the Dental Benefits Act 2008, 26 June 2014.
Result: Not met
Preliminary work has been completed. The review will be finalised in 2015-16 when more extensive data will be available to inform the review panel’s considerations.

Outcome 3 – Financial Resource Summary

Budget
Estimate
2014-15
$’000
(A)
Actual
2014-15
$’000
(B)
Variation
$’000
(B) - (A)
Programme 3.1: Medicare Services
Administered expenses
Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Act No. 1)8,8475,638(3,209)
Special appropriations
Health Insurance Act 1973- medical benefits20,311,89920,158,800(153,099)
Departmental expenses
Departmental appropriation 129,28728,389(898)
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the budget year 21,4271,888461
Total for Programme 3.120,351,46020,194,715(156,745)
Programme 3.2: Targeted Assistance - Medical
Administered expenses
Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Act No. 1)12,68910,202(2,487)
Departmental expenses
Departmental appropriation 1946909(37)
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the budget year 2446016
Total for Programme 3.213,67911,171(2,508)
Programme 3.3: Pathology and Diagnostic Imaging Services and Radiation Oncology
Administered expenses
Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Act No. 1)77,74072,864(4,876)
Departmental expenses
Departmental appropriation 15,0615,053(8)
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the budget year 224333491
Total for Programme 3.383,04478,251(4,793)
Programme 3.4: Medical Indemnity
Administered expenses
Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Act No. 1)15017525
Special appropriations
Medical Indemnity Act 200279,74883,9204,172
Midwife Professional Indemnity (Commonwealth Contribution) Scheme Act 2010821-(821)
Departmental expenses
Departmental appropriation 1492432(60)
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the budget year 223285
Total for Programme 3.481,23484,5553,321
Programme 3.5: Hearing Services
Administered expenses
Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Act No. 1)479,224443,684(35,540)
Departmental expenses
Departmental appropriation 113,19112,185(1,006)
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the budget year 2581716135
Total for Programme 3.5492,996456,585(36,411)
Programme 3.6: Dental Services 3
Administered expenses
Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Act No. 1)150150-
Special appropriations
Dental Benefits Act 2008424,607312,839(111,768)
Departmental expenses
Departmental appropriation 14,1763,908(268)
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the budget year 220426056
Total for Programme 3.6429,137317,157(111,980)
Outcome 3 Totals by appropriation type
Administered expenses
Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Act No. 1)578,800532,713(46,087)
Special appropriations20,817,07520,555,559(261,516)
Departmental expenses
Departmental appropriation 153,15350,876(2,277)
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the budget year 22,5223,286764
Total expenses for Outcome 321,451,55021,142,434(309,116)
Average staffing level (number)2772803
  1. Departmental appropriation combines ‘Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Act No. 1)’ and ‘Revenue from independent sources (s74)’.
  2. 'Expenses not requiring appropriation in the budget year’ is made up of depreciation expense, amortisation, make good expense and audit fees.
  3. This Programme includes National Partnerships payments to State and Territory Governments by the Treasury as part of the Federal Financial Relations Framework.

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