Medibank joins Nexus Hospitals joint replacement surgery trial guaranteeing zero out-of-pocket costs
Early-discharge knee replacement patients Kim Carter and Anna Dimeas (Medibank and Nexus Hospitals no out-of-pockets trial)
Doctors, Nexus Hospitals and Medibank start innovative joint replacement trial
Patients undergo prehabilitation prior to surgery and have rehabilitation at home if clinically appropriate
Doctor led and designed care delivery – doctors to continue to have full clinical autonomy
Medibank has joined an Australian-first trial with Nexus Hospitals to offer Medibank customers a zero out-of-pocket joint replacement experience with an early-to-home discharge where clinically appropriate.
The Nexus Vermont Private Hospital in Melbourne and orthopaedic surgeon Dr Daevyd Rodda this month performed the first surgery in a 2-year trial of hip and knee replacements with early-to-home discharge.
Early-to-home discharge (also known as short-stay or same day discharge) following joint replacement surgery has been available internationally for years.
Studies have shown that for many patients, outcomes are just as good if not better when they go home soon after their joint replacement surgery. They experience fewer rates of complications and readmissions and report higher patient satisfaction scores.
Medibank Chief Medical Officer Dr Linda Swan said Medibank is proud to fund this new way of delivering care to its customers.
“The first patient to have a joint replacement under the trial was discharged on the same day. This is the result of the pre and post-operative care from the clinical team and the ability and preference of the patient to get back home and mobilise as quickly as possible,” Dr Swan said.
“The clinical team is placing greater emphasis on prehabilitation prior to undergoing surgery, using advancements in surgical techniques and pain management, and rehabilitation and recovery through programs such as Medibank at Home.
“Doctors continue to have full clinical autonomy and decide, in consultation with patients, what the best care and rehabilitation setting will be.
“Early-to-home discharge after surgery won’t be for everyone, but where appropriate it could change orthopaedic surgery in Australia. Many patients prefer to get home as soon as possible to a familiar place with their loved ones, while still receiving expert nursing care and best practice rehabilitation.
“The trial could not have happened without collaboration between the doctors, the hospital and Medibank, and we are proud to be supporting this innovation in Australian healthcare,” Dr Swan said.
Medibank customers who take part in the trial will have zero out-of-pocket costs for any of the medical services during their hospital admission, including charges for the surgeon, anaesthetist, surgical assistant and diagnostic tests. If the customer has chosen an excess on their cover to lower their monthly premium, they will still need to pay the excess.
“We know out-of-pocket medical costs are a concern for Australians and that’s why we are part of this trial. More needs to be done in the health system on innovative ways to deliver healthcare at a lower cost to patients, while improving experience and health outcomes,” Dr Swan said.
“This arrangement is going to give our customers certainty that all of their treatment costs are covered.”