Faculty of Business Annual Social and Public Policy Lecture
Health care policy with an aging population - where should health care reform be heading?
Professor Simon Eckermann
Date: Wednesday 20 April 2016
Professor Eckermann drew on his previous multidisciplinary research and experience to consider how integrated health policy can be optimised in the context of an ageing population across the spectrum of health promotion and prevention, primary care in GP settings, appropriateness and quality of care in hospital settings, transition care and palliative care and related health system efficiency with appropriate consideration of joint research reimbursement and regulatory decisions and the pricing and integration of new technologies alongside existing technologies and programs.
Simon Eckermann is Senior Professor of Health Economics at the Australian Health Services Research institute and University of Wollongong and was previously Health Economics Professor at the Flinders University Centre for Clinical Change and Health Care Research and Senior Health Economist at the NHMRC Clinical Trial Centre. He is a CI on competitive research grants totalling more than A$22 million since 2005 and actively sits on and undertakes guideline revision and health economics educational activities for National decision bodies including the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee Economic Sub-Comittee (PBAC ESC 2005-2010), National Palliative Care Trials Scientific Committee (2006-2014), Prostheses List Advisory Committee and (2-12-2014) and Victorian Cancer Agency (2015-) as well as various NHMRC grant review committees (2010, 2012, 2014).
His original research and collaborations has established missing links between optimal decision making in research, reimbursement and regulation in practice and is extensively published in the highest impact international health economics and decision making with his original methods research, and clinical and policy journals with his applied research. Those of direct relevance to the topic include robust methods for: evidence synthesis and translation (Eckermann, Coory and Willan 2009, 2011); comparison of multiple strategies (Eckermann, Briggs and Willan 2008; Eckermann and Willan 2011); evaluation of health promotion and prevention programs allowing for network multiplier effects (Eckermann et al 2014); evaluating health care efficiency and providers in practice allowing consistent with maximising net benefit in allowing for quality of care (Eckermann and Coelli 2013; Eckermann 2004); multiple domain comparisons, particularly critical to evaluation of areas such as palliative care (McCaffrey et al 2015); optimal research design allowing for relevant policy contexts (Eckermann, Karnon and Willan 2010; Eckermann and Willan 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013; Willan and Eckermann 2010, 2012); optimal adoption, pricing and financing of new technology consistent with the health shadow price (Pekarsky 2012, 2014, Eckermann and Pekarsky 2014) and; optimising current Australian policy reform processes (Eckermann 2014; Eckermann, Sheridan and Ivers 2016). Related principles and methods have been taught by Professor Eckermann to more than 500 students from a wide range of clinical, research, policy and health technology assessment backgrounds since 2000, with the 'Health Economics from Theory to Practice' course he established with Professor Willan in 2005 consistently rated by participants as the best course of its type internationally.
Simon has been fortunate to have been mentored in his health economics career by the late eminent luminaries Gavin Mooney and Bernie O'Brien and collaborated on his original methods with the internationally renowned biostatisticans in health economic methods Professors Andy Willan and Andy Briggs and colleagues Dr Nikki McCafrey, Dr Brita Pekarsky and Professor Tim Coelli. Similarly his applied research across clinically diverse fields has been undertaken in collaboration with many clinical experts in their field including Professors John Simes and Tony Keech in CVD studies, David Watson and John Simes in Cancer studies, Doug McEvoy in Sleep Medicine, Heather Yeatman and Tony Okely in health promotion and prevention program evaluations, Maria Crottee in transition care and David Currow, Janet Hardy and Meera Agar in palliative care.