In response to a call for the allied health sector to demonstrate evidence of effectiveness in clinical treatment, SARRAH through Novartis completed an economic analysis of the impact of allied health professionals (AHPs) in improving health outcomes and reducing the cost of treating three chronic diseases: diabetes, osteoarthritis and stroke.
The report titled ‘The Impact of allied health professionals in improving outcomes and reducing the cost of treating diabetes, osteoarthritis and stroke’ released in 2015 reviewed all available evidence and evaluated the economic impact of allied services provided to Australians with three common health conditions – stroke, diabetes and osteoarthritis.
The report identifies potential annual savings of $175 million to the Australian healthcare budget from the implementation of eight allied health interventions.
The report also found that a significant number of negative health outcomes such as lower limb amputation and kidney failure were reduced when patients are treated by AHPs. The report is important as it identifies that there needs to be further research to build a stronger evidence base to identify the scope of savings to the healthcare system. It also highlights that greater access to allied health services are required in rural and remote communities to proactively address common chronic health conditions.
The report which was launched at Parliament House on 2 December 2016 by SARRAH CEO, Rod Wellington and was attended by Members of Parliament, Senators and their representatives. It is anticipated that the report will lead to follow-up research on the economic benefits of allied health interventions and has called on the government in 2015–16 to provide funding to undertake a robust economic evaluation of allied health interventions in rural and remote communities.
The report was prepared for SARRAH by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Australia through a pro bono arrangement.
Read the full report by clicking here.