Medibank announces investment in East Sydney Private Hospital
A new investment by Medibank in East Sydney Private Hospital will help doctors give patients more choice in how their care is delivered.
Medibank has taken a 49% minority shareholding in East Sydney Private Hospital and will initially invest $8.8 million in the business to fund capital investment and operational costs required for the hospital to scale its short stay model of care.
The investment is part of Medibank’s broader strategy to support hospitals and doctors to enable a short stay model of care that reduces unnecessary time spent in the hospital and allows patients to recuperate in their own home with support from a multi-disciplinary care team.
Medibank’s funding model gives customers more choice, eliminates medical out-of-pocket costs, and most importantly delivers the same if not better experience. The initial short stay focus will be for patients requiring joint replacements, with a view to other major procedures being added over time.
Medibank Group Executive Healthcare & Strategy Dr Andrew Wilson said: “For years we have talked about the need to address one of the greatest challenges in private healthcare, affordability. Our investment in East Sydney Private Hospital and its doctors is aimed at supporting doctors to deliver a short stay model of care that is already widely available at scale in other health systems internationally and for which there is a strong body of evidence.”
“The short stay model minimises the time a patient spends in hospital, where clinically appropriate, by giving them the option to recover and rehabilitate in the comfort of their home with full in-home support by nurses, allied health practitioners and personal carers.
“It is a doctor-led alternative to traditional long hospital stays that can help alleviate pressure on the health system, health insurance premiums and eliminates medical out-of-pocket costs.”
East Sydney Private Hospital Medical Director Dr Peter Kalish welcomes Medibank’s investment.
“This investment will allow the hospital to fully fund the capital equipment and operations required to further drive this innovative shift in care to one that aims to deliver the optimal outcome for patients in the most cost-effective way,” Dr Kalish said.
“All our orthopaedic and other surgeons are extremely positive about the benefits that will be derived from Medibank’s investment in East Sydney Private Hospital.
“A broad range of international studies into the short stay model report benefits such as fewer hospital stay related complications with no impact on hospital readmissions, and higher patient satisfaction.
“We look forward to making the model available to more Medibank customers as well as other health funds, who we will continue to work with just as we’ve always done,” he said.
Medibank customers have already been undergoing short stay joint replacements in Melbourne with no medical out-of-pocket costs and Medibank’s investment in East Sydney Private Hospital complements this ongoing pilot and shows our intention to invest to support the roll out of the model.
The short stay joint replacement model with no medical out-of-pocket costs will also soon be available in Brisbane and Adelaide.
“We want more of our customers and their doctors to have the flexibility to choose where they receive their care, and for that choice to take pressure off the health system which continues to face unsustainable increases in health costs,” Dr Wilson said.
“This shift in the way healthcare is delivered in Australia is a very positive change and we’re delighted more patients will be able to access a short stay option as a result of our investment in East Sydney Private Hospital.”
Medibank’s Dr Andrew Wilson also said he was pleased to announce two new key appointments further demonstrating Medibank’s support of new care models.
“We have firstly appointed Dr Michael Stanford AM as a Senior Advisor on our short stay and ambulatory care initiatives. Dr Stanford has had a distinguished 30-year senior executive career in the health care sector, including 23 years’ in Group CEO roles across the private and public sectors including with St John of God Health Care and as a board member of Healthscope. In 2018 Michael was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the health sector,” he said.
“We are also excited to have appointed Clare Douglas as Senior Executive Ambulatory Care Centres. Clare has over 18 years’ experience as a Chief Executive and senior executive in acute public health, private health and aged care sectors including with St Vincent’s Health Australia. Clare was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2020 as part of the Governor General’s Australia Day honours list for outstanding public service to health administration in Queensland.
“Together Michael and Clare will add additional deep sector expertise and experience needed as we scale this initiative,” Dr Wilson said.
About East Sydney Private Hospital
East Sydney Private Hospital is a modern short stay hospital located in Woolloomooloo, Sydney. It was established in 2014 and offers five operating theatres, 32 beds and a close observation unit, and diagnostic services. The hospital’s Board, shareholders and management team comprises doctors and other health industry professionals. The hospital provides other services including ophthalmology, ENT, spinal surgery, OralMax surgery, general surgery and plastic surgery as well as orthopaedics.
Further information for Medibank customers on the short stay joint replacement pilot
Medibank customers who take part in the short stay joint replacement trial will have no medical out-of-pocket costs during their hospital admission for the surgeon and anaesthetist. If the customer has chosen an excess on their cover to lower their monthly premium, they will still need to pay the excess.