Medibank’s latest Health Cost and Utilisation Report shows that childbirth was the most common overnight procedure — with over 19,000 babies born in the 2016 financial year.
Of the top 10 highest benefits paid for hospital care, six were for neonatal, with the largest single hospital claim of more than $430,000 for the care of a newborn infant.
Medibank has increased the amount paid for many common hospital visits in recent years, including for childbirth, rehab, and joint surgeries, as healthcare costs rise.
Health Cost and Utilisation Report: facts and figures
The Health Cost and Utilisation Report – which provides a snapshot of Medibank’s biggest and most common hospital claims last financial year – also revealed:
- Childbirth, rehab, joint replacements and shoulder procedures topped the list of most commonly claimed surgeries. Knee replacements are up by 11 per cent in the last four years and inpatient rehab admissions up by 15 per cent in the same period.
- The five most common same-day hospital services were colonoscopies, chemotherapy, dialysis, rehab and cataract procedures. In the last four years, chemotherapy admissions increased eight per cent and cataract procedures increased seven per cent.
- Increases in admissions for inpatient rehab, hip replacements, and knee replacements. This data pointed to the trend of a growing number of Australians suffering osteoarthritis or other musculoskeletal conditions. Read about the Medibank Better Health Foundation, launched last year to increase research funding for musculoskeletal conditions.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Linda Swan said out-of-pocket costs remained a concern for many private health customers, but it was important to know they had a choice of surgeon or specialist with private care.
“In many cases, we are paying for our customers’ healthcare at rates that are well above the fees set by the Government’s Medicare Benefits Schedule,” Dr Swan said.
“It’s important to discuss potential out-of-pocket charges with your surgeon or specialist, as providers can charge very different out-of-pocket costs and many don’t charge extra fees at all.”