Govt push to curb path tests

NEW measures may soon be implemented to curb the ordering of pathology tests, following a deal struck between the Federal Government and pathologists designed to slow growth in the sector.

After weeks of negotiations with pathologists, Health Minister Nicola Roxon last week revealed a deal she claimed would save $550 million over five years. 

A string of measures would see the average annual growth in pathology spending drop from the current rate of 7.3% to around 5%, she claimed. 

Along with assessing the cost-effectiveness of new tests, the measures include engaging with GP groups to “investigate ways to improve support services to GPs to better request pathology services”. 

Sources in the pathology sector say this could involve the development of a software tool to provide GPs with guidance on the most appropriate tests.

“That [tool] may reduce the number of tests, but there might [also]