Changes in out-of-pocket charges associated with obstetric care provided under Medicare in Australia.
Recent health reforms alongside unregulated provider fees have led to increased attention being given to out-of-pocket healthcare costs. This study utilised annual statistics published by the Department of Health for services provided under the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) from 1992/3 to 2016/17 to identify changes in out-of-pocket charges for obstetric items over time, and estimate the change in demand for obstetric items in response to price increases. Since 1992/3 out-of-pocket charges increased by 1035% for out-of-hospital items and 77% for in-hospital items. Demand for obstetric items has reduced with increasing charges.