Media releases

January 29, 2015

Care for newborns tops Medibank’s most expensive claims

Care for newborns has topped the list as the most expensive procedure in Medibank’s annual Health Cost and Utilisation Report, along with childbirth, which came in as the most common overnight procedure.

The report, which details the highest costing and most common procedures for FY2014, reveals claims for hospital, medical and prosthesis came to a combined amount of $3.3 billion and hospital admissions stood at 1.2 million.

After childbirth, which saw just over 21,500 admissions, inpatient rehabilitation (returning an individual back to their maximum level of function after an accident or illness) experienced the biggest growth in admissions, increasing 26.4% since FY2011. The biggest cost growth was also for childbirth, rising by 15.2% during the same period.

The most expensive claim Medibank paid benefits for in FY2014 was for care for a newborn baby, with a benefit outlay of $740,394. The second most expensive claim was also neonatal, costing $565,346. In fact, seven of the ten most expensive claims were for neonatal care.

Laz Cotsios, Medibank Chief Customer Officer, says, “When people have a hospital experience, many don’t realise what goes on behind the scenes in order to maintain the affordability of healthcare. For example, the average member out of pocket for an overnight rehabilitation procedure was $30. However, the average total cost for the procedure was $10,511. This clearly demonstrates the value of having private health insurance, in addition to the timely access it permits to hospital treatment.”

Rehabilitation featured heavily in same-day procedures, experiencing a 71.5% increase in admissions. Colonoscopies were the most common same-day procedure, with over 100,000 Medibank members claiming for one in FY2014, and also the procedure with the biggest cost growth of 9.5%.

Mr Cotsios continues, “A key priority for Medibank is to keep quality healthcare affordable for our members; even more important with hospital admissions experiencing a 14% increase since 2011.  We believe that all parts of the health system have a responsibility to work together to maintain this, so that when members pay their premiums, they do so secure in the knowledge that they will be provided for in the event they need to use their insurance.”

Mr Cotsios concludes, “It’s true that healthcare costs have increased over the past few years, mainly due to the aging population, increased usage of services as a result of chronic disease and advancements in technology. However, it’s comforting to know that private health insurance has you covered for when you need it most, leaving you free to focus on the important things – your recovery and return to good health.”



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