Media releases

February 17, 2016

AUSTRALIANS BEING ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL MORE OFTEN; USING MORE SERVICES

More than $3.47 billion paid in benefits in FY2015 for hospital treatments

Australians are being admitted to hospital and receiving more hospital treatments than ever before, due to an ageing population, increasing prevalence of illness, and advancements in medical technologies.

New analysis of Medibank data shows there were more than 1.2 million claims by members for hospital admissions and procedures in the twelve months to June 2015, and Medibank paid more than $3.47 billion in benefits for these claims – an increase of 3.4 per cent on the previous financial year.

In total, Medibank Group paid a record $5.1 billion in hospital and extras benefits in FY2015 on behalf of Medibank and ahm members. This is 4.3 per cent more than was paid in FY2014 ($4.9 billion).

“Medibank is paying more in claimable benefits than ever before, and working hard to improve affordability, value and transparency of our products and of private healthcare more broadly,” Medibank Managing Director, George Savvides, said.

“We want our members to live healthy and active lives so they don’t have to go to hospital, and, if they are admitted to hospital, we want them to receive the best healthcare so they have the best health outcomes possible.”

“Overall, we know the costs of private healthcare are increasing. We know Australians are going to hospital more often – the number of hospital admissions per member has grown on average 3.7 per cent every year for the last five years,” Mr Savvides said.

“Add to this the rising costs of services, and that patients receive more treatments per admission, and there is increasing pressure across the entire sector.”

The most common overnight hospital procedure in FY2015 was for childbirth. Medibank paid hospital benefits of over $150 million for approximately more than 20,500 childbirth-related admissions.

“I’m delighted that in the last financial year, Medibank was able to support more than 20,500 of our members as they welcomed new additions to their families,” Mr Savvides said.

“The costs of health services are increasing, and we are paying more in benefits each year and ensuring our members receive the best value from their cover,” Mr Savvides said.

“We are also working closely with our partners and the industry to try to improve affordability of services and to reduce waste and inefficiency.”

Following childbirth, the most common overnight procedures in FY2015 among Medibank members were rehabilitation, knee replacements, shoulder procedures and hip replacements.


The amount paid for prostheses in FY2015 increased by more than $25 million (to over $480 million) on the previous year.

Medibank has welcomed the recent announcement by the Federal Minister for Health that a Working Group will be established to review and redesign the Australian Government Prostheses List to make it fairer for private healthcare patients.

Prostheses make up 14 per cent of the costs paid by private insurers to hospitals.

“Australians with private health insurance are currently being forced to pay significantly more for hip and knee replacements, for example, because the prices currently set out in the Government’s Prostheses List are highly inflated,” Mr Savvides said.

"We've been advocating for changes to prostheses pricing for some time, and we’re glad the Government is now taking steps to make it fairer.”

The five most common same-day procedures in the twelve months to June 2015 were colonoscopy, chemotherapy, dialysis, rehabilitation and cataract surgery.


Medibank’s annual Health Cost and Utilisation data provides useful insight into the increasing rates and costs of hospital admissions and most common hospital procedures Australians are receiving.

-ENDS-

About Medibank:

Medibank is Australia’s leading private health insurer, providing private health insurance to approximately 3.9 million people through its Medibank and ahm brands. Customers can access Medibank’s products and services through more than 80 retail stores, as well as digital and telephone platforms. Medibank also provides a range of complementary healthcare services including healthcare management services for government and corporate clients, online and telephone-based health services and the distribution of travel, life and pet insurance. For more information, visit www.medibank.com.au


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