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    Medibank at Home treats 20,000 patients as new research shows Rehab at Home valued by patients and clinically effective

    rehab at home
    • Medibank at Home has now treated 20,000 Medibank customers since the program began in 2016
    • 2/3 patients give the program 10-out-of-10
    • An estimated $189 million could be saved each year by 2030, reducing pressure on health insurance premiums

    More than 90% of Medibank joint replacement patients who receive rehabilitation at home through Medibank at Home see clinically important improvement, with two-thirds of patients giving the program 10-out-of-10.

    Medibank at Home has now treated 20,000 Medibank customers, providing chemo, dialysis, rehab, palliative care and infusions in the comfort and privacy of the patient’s home.

    Analysis undertaken by KPMG on the success of Medibank’s Rehab at Home program found rehab at home after a joint replacement costs only 40% of the price of inpatient rehabilitation yet maintains high patient satisfaction.

    Chief Medical Officer Dr Linda Swan said at-home treatment is a great alternative for eligible patients.

    “More than 11,000 customers have used one of our rehab in the home programs in consultation with their doctor,” Dr Swan said.

    “Across all our healthcare services, Medibank supports an average of 384 virtual hospital beds each day.

    “COVID-19 demonstrated the importance of alternative care approaches and more at-home and telehealth options for patients. Medibank at Home is more than just physical treatment - customers tell us that being able to access healthcare at home is changing their lives for the better.

    “We know people want more choice in where their healthcare is delivered and we want to meet that demand especially as healthcare costs continue to rise. Our commitment is to ensure Australians have more choice in how their care is delivered without putting further pressure on insurance premiums.

    “We are starting to see a change in the healthcare industry as more care shifts from inpatient hospital settings to care in the home or in the community, where clinically appropriate. There’s a growing body of evidence that this can deliver the same or better outcomes at a lower price, allowing us to pass savings onto customers,” Dr Swan said.

    High rates of private hospital inpatient joint replacement rehabilitation contribute to rising health insurance premiums; approximately 40% of joint replacement patients in private hospitals go to inpatient rehab, but only 17% of patients in public hospitals do.

    The KPMG analysis found $95 million in benefits could be saved across private health insurance if 50% of private inpatient rehab after a joint replacement was replaced with at-home rehab.

    “By 2030, as more people require joint replacement surgery, these savings could be as high as $189 million per year, and more than 1,200 hospital beds could be reassigned to patients who need acute or critical care,” Dr Swan said.

    “Rehab at Home, as well as our other at-home care options, is responding to patient needs in the healthcare system. 80% of Medibank customers who have participated in the Rehab at Home program rated it very highly and two-thirds gave it a 10-out-of-10 score.”

    The KPMG analysis found more than 90% of joint replacement patients who had Rehab at Home had clinically important improvements in the lower extremity function scores (LEFS), a standard marker of rehabilitation’s effectiveness.

    Medibank’s Rehab at Home program is available nationally, with chemotherapy, dialysis and palliative care at home trials available in selected areas. For more information, visit the Medibank at Home hub.

    *The data was from 2017-2019 (prior to COVID-19)

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