Media releases

April 27, 2005

About to go to Hospital? Know what you're up for.

Going to hospital can be daunting enough without unexpected bills. To avoid the surprises, there are 3 simple questions to ask before you go.

  1. Is the hospital a Medibank Private Members' Choice hospital? 
    If no, you're likely to have to pay an additional 'hospital payment'. This is on top of any excess or co-payment you may pay and on top of the amount Medibank Private pays the hospital on your behalf. Ask the hospital about any additional 'hospital payments' before booking in.

  • Is your doctor offering a 'no-gaps' service? 
    If no, you're likely to have an additional fee to pay. Ask your doctor to explain any charges up front.

  • Are there any other specialists needed in your treatment? And what are their costs? 
    For example, you may require an anaesthetist, radiologist, physiotherapist or some other health profession not covered by the hospital. Ask your doctor.

  • The answers to these questions may not change any of the choices you make. The important thing is that it is your choice, so you need to be informed.

    Your choice with Members' Choice - over 90% of private hospitals Australia-wide are currently part of the Medibank Private Members' Choice Network. 

    Planned changes to the Medibank Private Members' Choice (contracted) hospital network
    You may have heard, we are running a tender process to select hospitals for our Members' Choice network. It covers acute overnight medical/surgical and obstetric private hospitals in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Gold Coast. It's only in these cities and only overnight private hospitals.
    By September, we'll have a revised list of Members' Choice hospitals.

    Hospitals will compete for a contract with Medibank Private and will be evaluated against other hospitals using set criteria.

    In selecting the hospitals in this tender some of the factors we are looking at include:

    • Are there other hospitals close by that offer the same services?
    • Have they agreed to commit to industry accepted standards of quality and safety?
    • And with everything else being equal, do they offer a good deal for Medibank Private members?
    You can get a list of current Medibank Private Members' Choice hospitals at any retail centre, on this website  or by calling 132 331. This list will be updated with any changes as necessary.

    Why are we doing this?
    We all know that health care costs are rising much faster than CPI. Our population is getting older, more people are going to hospital, and medical technology advances keep raising the cost of equipment. You know costs are going up because your premiums keep rising.
    So rather than asking you just to pay more and more in premiums, we are taking other action. If we can negotiate better deals with private hospitals we can start to take some of the pressure off future premium increases.

    Not every hospital charges the same. Some hospitals charge a lot more for the same treatment and care - up to 25% more in some cases. Our aim is to get a better, fairer deal, so all our members win.

    It's not all about money. We are also working with hospitals to help them achieve safety and quality standards supported by the Australian Council for Safety &Quality in Health Care, the peak Australian health care quality body.

    What does this mean for you?
    This fairer system means that you still have a large range of hospitals to choose from as part of the Members' Choice network.

    For all 3 million people covered by Medibank Private, it means the pressure is reduced on future premium increases.

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