Software speeds up searches on NPC

Private hospital group Healthscope is using Australian-developed software to streamline rebate claims for prostheses.

Items on the Commonwealth Prostheses List (CPL) such as cardiac pacemakers and stents, hip and knee replacement devices and intraocular lenses are subsidised by the government and attract a rebate.

However, there are around 9500 rebate codes on the CPL and searching for them can be time-consuming.

Around 30 of Healthscope's 48 hospitals search every day for anything from 10 to a hundred CPL rebate codes following surgery, and Healthscope racks up a $200 million spend on prosthetics across the group each year.

Using new software from Australian company Bizcaps, Healthscope is now able to link into the NEHTA-established National Product Catalogue (NPC) hosted on GS1 Australia’s GS1net data repository, which serves as a single source of product and pricing information for Australia’s health supply chain. Bizcaps is an GS1 Alliance Partner.

Users can now instantly access the correct rebate code for each product as suppliers populate the data. According to Bizcaps, over 30 suppliers have met the requirement to populate this data, with Healthscope waiting on just six suppliers to complete their data fields.

“We feed the CPL pricing information into our systems every six months, but that just contains a rebate code,” Healthscope's supply operations manager, Warwick Potts, said.

“Several hundred thousand products exist and one rebate code may cover 50 items.”

Administration staff use the product packaging to search for information, but Australian CPL rebate codes are not printed on the product packaging, he said.

“The Bizcaps solution will enable us to search for real-time catalogue data, live from the supplier, to find that rebate code, saving us a lot of time and ensuring accuracy of information.”

Medical device suppliers are also using the software to publish their product data on the NPC. Health industry suppliers are required to supply 84 mandatory data fields for each product supplied to a state or territory health procurement body.

As health contracts and tenders come up for renewal, distributors in the health industry are under increased pressure to list their products on the NPC. However, once product information is held in the NPC, the tender process becomes straightforward, with most of the required product information then able to be automatically input into the tender document.

Medical device company Mayo Healthcare, which distributes cardio-vascular and respiratory equipment, is currently putting its product data into a NPC-compliant format. It is using the Bizcaps software to streamline that process.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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