Australia 'Hospital-in-the-home revolution': Hunt's plan to shake up private health insurance

15:56  25 november  2019
15:56  25 november  2019 Source:   theage.com.au

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Short Term Health Insurance Hospital Insurance Dental Insurance . However, if you visit the ER of a private hospital and your condition is not considered an If you are treated at the hospital or require surgery and don’t have insurance , the bill you receive may seem financially overwhelming.

“Around one in five private health insurance policies is sold through iSelect and so we know from speaking Changes to private health insurance . Also under the expected changes, the cost The maximum permitted excesses for private hospital insurance will rise from 0 to 0 for singles

Greg Hunt wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Greg Hunt is planning to overhaul the rules that prevent health funds paying for specialist treatment delivered outside hospitals.© Alex Ellinghausen Greg Hunt is planning to overhaul the rules that prevent health funds paying for specialist treatment delivered outside hospitals.

Health Minister Greg Hunt has outlined his plan for a major shake-up of rules governing private health insurance in a bid to arrest an exodus of customers as premiums rise.

Mr Hunt is working on changes that would enable health funds to cover specialist treatment delivered outside hospitals at a lower cost, starting with mental health and orthopaedics. He hopes to roll out the proposed regime by mid-2020 so insurers can factor in cost savings and keep a lid on premium increases in 2021.

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Get free Medicare & Health Insurance quotes online. Compare and enroll in Medicare and health If you decide to stay with Original Medicare, you might be able to sign up for a Medicare Supplement All plans cover Medicare Part A hospital coinsurance costs at 100%. Beyond this one benefit, the

The need for health insurance emerged in the 1920 s , fueled by increasing costs of hospital care. Those costs, driven by significant investments in facilities The plan worked on the principle of paying for the costs of care for a small group of sick individuals by spreading them out over a much larger pool.

Currently, Australians can only claim on their hospital cover for treatment received in hospital, a rule Mr Hunt said created "perverse outcomes and perverse incentives".

"These are old rules [that] were put in place 20 years ago for a different medical system and a different time," Mr Hunt told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

The changes being considered would help lower the cost of providing treatment as well as giving patients access to "optimal" care, he said.

"The hospital-in-the-home revolution is potentially one of the most significant improvements in the private health offering in the last 20 years," Mr Hunt said.

He gave the example of someone being admitted for in-patient mental health treatment and staying in a hospital psychiatric ward for up to 20 days as covered by their health fund.

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The Children' s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – formerly known as the State Children' s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) – is a program administered by the United States Department of Health

Heartland Health Centers offers sliding-scale fees to anyone who does not have health insurance . The cost for these visits will depend on where you are referred. Many hospitals ’ financial assistance programs make it possible to receive services you or a household member need at low or no cost.

"The optimal treatment might be five days in hospital followed by two months of twice-weekly therapy at home," Mr Hunt said.

A patient admitted for orthopaedic surgery, such as a hip or knee replacement, "might benefit from a shorter stay in hospital and a longer period of active rehabilitation outside of the hospital at home".

Mr Hunt revealed the plan as independent public policy think tank the Grattan Institute called on the government to force private hospitals to "lift their game" and submit to the same activity-based funding rules as public hospitals so insurers did not have to pay for "wasteful" services.

In a paper to be released on Tuesday, the institute's health economist, Stephen Duckett, said private hospitals should negotiate with all medical practitioners involved in a hospital stay on the patient's behalf before handing "a single bill" - including all X-rays, scans and blood tests - to their insurer.

"Private hospitals would have to absorb any excess costs from doctors – or charge patients a declared and upfront fee to cover those costs," Dr Duckett said.

Mr Hunt, who wrote to 20 health funds on Friday rejecting their proposed 3.5 per cent average premium increase, said he had met with insurers and private hospitals to discuss the "hospital-in-the-home" plan and asked them to come back with proposals for other treatments to be covered.

He rejected insurers' claim they could not afford to restrict their premium increases for next year to an average 3 per cent, saying he was confident the funds would still be sustainable.

"I've told them to sharpen their pencils," he said.

Radical plan to overhaul private health insurance put forward by Grattan Institute .
There is a "fatal flaw" in Australia's private health system, according to a public policy think tank that has released its plan to make it sustainable, as more young people opt out of buying coverage.However, the 43-year-old single mother from Perth said the system was now letting her down.

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