Media releases

December 13, 2006

Medibank index shows health costs continue to soar

The annual Medibank Private Chart Toppers Index, released today, not only highlights the potential costs associated with looking after your health - it further substantiates the claim that healthcare costs continue to soar.

The value of the top claim paid by Medibank Private, for the year ending 30 June 2006, was more than $276,000 paid on behalf of a 59 year old man for a coronary artery bypass.

The top 10 claims paid by Medibank Private totalled $2,124,288 - this is $385,415, or around 22 per cent, more than the total of the top 10 claims in the previous year.

The Medibank Private Chart Toppers Index is a review of Medibank Private member claims and benefit payouts, and ranks Medibank Private's Top 10 claims and most common reasons for hospitalisation.

Medibank Private Managing Director, George Savvides, commented there was a significant increase in the total of the top 10 claims this year as well as a shift in the age of people that the claims were paid for.

Two of the top 10 claims in the index were for neonatal care, four of the claims were for members under the age of 50, and six were under the age of 60.

"Our Chart Topper claims are always going to be for serious, acute procedures - however, the mix of the age of members and procedures on this year's index highlights the fact that you cannot assume you will only require serious healthcare in your old age.

"With two new borns and a 24 year old in the top 10, it's pretty obvious that the cost of healthcare can potentially hit you at any stage of your life," he said.

This year's Index again listed digestive treatments as the highest reason for Medibank Private members to go to hospital. Oncology and gynaecology procedures were both new additions to the top five reasons for Medibank members to go to hospital.

Top 10 Benefit payouts
PROCEDUREGENDERAGETOTAL BENEFIT PAID
Cardiac Surgery - Coronary artery bypass

Male

59$276,247
Intensive Care Unit - Neonatal

Male

0$265,049
Chronic hernia repair - Neonatal

Female

0$234,195
Thoracic Surgery - Major lung procedure

Male

63$225,241
Neurosurgery

Male

48$197,862
Revision of vascular access for dialysis

Male

57$196,789
Major skin and muscle graft

Female

59$185,543
Cardiac Surgery - Open heart surgery

Male

64$184,834
Neurosurgery

Male

24$180,326
Cardiac Surgery

Female

79$178,202
TOTAL:-

-$2,124,288
Top 5 reasons by number of admissions
Reason for AdmissionNumber of admissionsTotal benefits (approx.)Highest Claim (approx.)
Digestive (Diagnostic endoscopies)

76,399

$36.9m$26,000
Oncology (Cancer)

57,780

$48.4m$54,000
Orthopaedic

37,309

$90.2m$114,000
Gynaecology

33,525

$50.5m$32,500
Kidney & urinary tract

28,897

$11.6m$48,700
ENDSFor further information please contact:
Libby Woolnough - Medibank Private
T. (03) 8622 5181 or 0411 659 060
E: libby_Woolnough@medibank.com.au

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