Latest News for Day Hospital Sector
Bupa’s decision to cease no-gap medical cover for their members seeking treatment in non- contracted hospitals raises many concerns for consumers and private day and overnight hospitals.
Consumers electing to use their private Bupa insurance after entering a public hospital for emergency treatment will no longer be covered under the no-gap medical cover that they may have on their Bupa policy.
It is relevant to note that 37% of day hospitals (i.e., over 126), and 8% of private overnight hospitals do not have agreements with BUPA (information obtained from Bupa’s website).
There are concerns regarding Bupa’s future strategy for private health care in Australia. These concerns were reflected in Day Hospitals Australia’s submission to the 2017 Senate enquiry where it was advised that “some of the major health funds are advising their members to go to another hospital rather than attend where their doctor has organised their admission, advising the member that the particular hospital does not have a contract and therefore they will not be covered for their scheduled treatment at that hospital”.
Day Hospitals Australia applauds the actions of the Minister for Health, The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, in referring the recent actions of Bupa to the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman.
We are monitoring and seeking advice on this issue.Posted : 09.03.18: MEDIA RELEASE: Minister’s investigation into insurer’s medical gap scheme changes welcomed by Day Hospitals Australia
Click here to read the Media Release, dated 7 March 2018.Posted : 23.02.18: New code of conduct for Nurses and Midwives take effect from 1 March 2018
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) has published the new Code of conduct for nurses and Code of conduct for midwives (the codes). The codes will take effect for all nurses and midwives in Australia on 1 March 2018. The codes set out the legal requirements, professional behaviour and conduct expectations for all nurses and midwives in all practice settings.
Further information can be found on the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia website.Posted : 12.02.18: 882 6PR Radio interviews Day Hospitals Australia CEO
Jane Griffiths, CEO of Day Hospitals Australia, was interviewed on 6PR on 12 February on Day Hospitals and the future of elective surgery.
Click here to listen to the podcast.Posted : 05.02.18: MEDIA RELEASE: Patients and hospitals to suffer from Labor’s health insurance cap plan
The Opposition’s plan to cap private health insurance rises at 2 per cent for two years has been labelled an unnecessary, premature and unrealistic move by the day hospital industry’s peak body.
Click here to read the full Media Release.Posted : 11.01.18: Day Hospitals Australia | 2017: A Year in Review
Click here to view 2017: A Year in Review document which outlines the activity, achievements and focus of Day Hospitals Australia for the day hospital sector in 2017.Posted : 22.12.17: Report tabled in the Senate on 19 December | Inquiry into the value and affordability of private health insurance and out-of-pocket medical costs
The Standing Committee on Community Affairs References Committee tabled it’s report in the Senate this week on 19 December on the committee’s Inquiry into the value and affordability of private health insurance and out-of-pocket medical costs.
More information can be seen on the Parliament of Australia’s website, including a copy of the Report, or click here to go directly to the Report. Day Hospitals Australia provided a submission to the Inquiry and this can be seen on their website (Submission No. 91 on page 5).Posted : 14.12.17: Day Hospitals Australia 2018 Conference announced
We are pleased to announce that our 2018 Conference will be held from Wednesday 19 to Friday 21 September 2018 at the Pullman Melbourne Albert Park, Victoria.
The conference theme will be ‘Rapid changes in healthcare, is your hospital keeping up?‘
Further information will be posted as it becomes available on our 2018 Conference page.Posted : 26.10.17: Day Hospitals Australia celebrates significant “wins” in the recent announcement of the Private Health Insurance reforms
The Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, announced a series of reforms to private health insurance on 13 October 2017 to make private health insurance simpler and more affordable for Australians.
Day Hospitals Australia is pleased our extensive lobbying and advocacy activities over the past few years have been successful. We continue to have representation on the Private Health Ministerial Advisory Committee (PHMAC), a vital committee providing advice to the Minister for Health, with many of its recommendations being adopted and announced on Friday by the Minister. Major wins are the changes to the administrative arrangements for the second tier default benefit currently causing so many issues for our members and the increased investigatory powers of the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman.
The reductions in minimum benefits for prostheses paid by private health insurers were announced as part of the reform package. Day Hospitals Australia continues to have representation on the Prosthesis List Advisory Committee (PLAC) to actively articulate our members concerns.
Of particular note to members are the following reforms announced:
PHIs will be required to categorise products as Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic, using standardised definitions for treatment, providing greater clarity for consumers on inclusions, exclusions and the ability to compare policies. When – from 1 April 2019.
Private health insurance reforms: Second Tier administrative reforms. Day Hospitals can now have confidence that hospitals are grouped consistently for the purpose of calculating and paying second tier benefits. As part of the reform package the Government will make a number of administrative improvements to the second tier default benefit arrangements to streamline processes and reduce the administrative burden on both private hospitals and health insurers. Private hospitals choosing to apply for second tier eligibility will pay an application fee to cover the cost of assessing their application. When: 1 April 2019. Day Hospitals Australia is delighted that all the recommendations made by our association have been adopted and thank members for their support of our efforts to achieve this reform.
Private Health Insurance Ombudsman’s (PHIO) role will be expanded, strengthening its ability to protect consumers’ interests. Day Hospitals Australia welcomes this announcement on the increased powers as excellent news and will assist members with many issues they experience. Additional staff will be appointed in investigatory roles to conduct inspections and audits of private health insurers to ensure they meet their regulatory responsibility. Investigators will be able to review private hospital contracting arrangements, including prosthesis, as part of reviewing consumer complaints. The PHIO will look into and advise the Government of complaints made on an individual basis arising from disputes between prostheses suppliers and hospitals that affect privately insured patients.
Reductions in minimum benefits for prosthesis paid by private health insurers. Minimum benefits payable for almost all medical devices listed on the Prosthesis List will be reduced on 1 February 2018 (reductions very by category). Further reductions to some devices’ benefits will also occur on 1 February 2019 and 1 February 2020 (cement only). We acknowledge that compromise across the whole sector is required to protect the consumer and ensure a sustainable Australian Health Care System. Recent meeting between Day Hospitals Australia and the Minister was highly constructive and it was acknowledged by the Minister that our well-illustrated position was integral in his decision making in this key area. Day Hospitals Australia will continue to be represented on the Prosthesis List Advisory Committee (PLAC) and ensure our members’ views are robustly represented.
Private patients in public hospitals – the impact of privately insured patients in public hospitals will be considered in the broader National Health Agreement context, to ensure the best outcome for a sustainable balance between public and private health systems. When – to be negotiated in 2018.
Expert committee will be established to consider best practice models for transparency of out-of-pocket costs. When – in 2017.
Enhanced mental health support to improve patient access to mental health services. When – 1 April 2018.
Travel and accommodation benefits can be offered under hospital cover instead of under general treatment policies to assist regional and rural consumers. When – 1 April 2019.
Insurers will be able to offer discounted private hospital cover to people aged 18 to 29. When – 1 April 2019.
Higher excesses to lower premiums – Consumers will be able to choose higher excesses they pay for private health insurance. Maximum permitted excesses for private hospital insurance will be increased from $500 to $750 for singles and from $1,000 to $1,500 for couples/families. When – PHIFs will be able to offer these from 1 April 2019.
Removal of some natural therapies – Private health insurance will no longer cover some natural therapies and the following will be removed from all private health insurance products: Alexander technique, aromatherapy, Bowen therapy, Buteyko, Feldenkrais, herbalism, homeopathy, iridology, kinesiology, naturopathy, Pilates, reflexology, Rolfing, shiatsu, tai chi, and yoga. When – from 1 April 2019.
More information is outlined in the 19-page Private Health Insurance Factsheet released on Friday and can be found on the Department of Health website. Information on the Prosthesis announcement can be seen on page 12 and the second tier announcement on page 17.
Posted : 12.06.17: ‘Development of a Day Hospital’
Did you know? Day Hospitals Australia has a paper available on the ‘Development of a Day Hospital‘? This document steps you through the various stages required when considering setting up a new facility. This is complimentary for members and $115 incl GST for non-members. Please contact email@example.com or T: 1800 752 822.