Medibank's in-home care investment welcome for SA

29 August 2018

Centre Alliance Senator Stirling Griff has welcomed today’s announcement that Medibank will base its national home healthcare operations in Adelaide, which will create future jobs and contribute to the city’s growing reputation as an innovative health hub.

Medibank has partnered with providers to offer customers in-home rehabilitation services and is trialling the delivery of chemotherapy, palliative care and dialysis. It estimates that in-home rehabilitation can be offered at 30% of the cost of in-hospital rehabilitation, with the same standard of service.

“Anything that might take pressure off private health insurance premiums, and safely takes pressure off private and public hospital beds, is a welcome move,” Senator Griff said.

“We know privately-insured patients represent a funding boost for public hospitals, but we also know that our public hospitals are overburdened, so solutions such as in-home care can be an effective way to take some of the pressure off them while ensuring people get the treatment they need.”

Senator Griff said with health dollars stretched, governments need to keep innovating to do more and better within their Budgets – especially when it comes to “low-value” care which does not require hospital stays.

A study published online by the Medical Journal of Australia on Monday found the rate of in-hospital rehabilitation following (Medibank-funded) knee replacement surgery grew from 31% in 2009 to 45% in 2016 but these people do not generally experience better outcomes than patients who rehabilitate at home or in community-based rehabilitation.

The study concluded: “The use of inpatient rehabilitation after TKR (total knee replacements) can be substantially reduced to improve health care efficiency without any detriment to health outcomes”.

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