Choice the key for customers

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Medibank is working to provide its customers with greater choice in where their healthcare is delivered, says CEO Craig Drummond.

The company recently hosted stakeholders, including representatives of its hospital partners, at its 'At Home Symposium'.

According to Medibank, the evidence shows treatment in the home can provide a more positive patient and carer experience, lowers preventable hospital readmissions and reduces costs.

The company provides a range of services in the home, including rehabilitation, dialysis, chemotherapy, reconditioning rehab and palliative care. It has also committed to commence an infusions trial.

It said almost 1,800 of its customers have chosen to have a service delivered in their home.

Mr Drummond highlighted the example of a 79-year-old Medibank customer in Sydney. They were spending 12 hours a day travelling to and receiving dialysis at a hospital, three times a week.

"Tom cannot drive or access public transport due to surgical complications, and he had to be transported to hospital on a stretcher using patient transport," said Mr Drummond.

"Now that Tom is a Medibank at Home dialysis patient, he wakes up, has a cup of tea, and the nurse arrives at home to administer his treatment in bed while the radio is on. Tom says this is the best thing that Medibank has ever done."

He continued, "Our Medibank at Home team hears stories like this every day. Our Chemo at Home customers have told us that getting their treatment at home makes such a difference – at the hospital, they’d feel their blood pressure and anxiety rising, and they’d often have difficulty getting to and from hospital, relying on family or friends to drive.

"We know this isn’t new – the Victorian Government’s Health Department has run at-home care for almost 20 years. At-home care programs are also increasingly common in Europe and the United States."

"Providing care in the home is about offering patients a real choice in where their healthcare is delivered. Hospitals are, and remain, the home of acute care. But with clinical consultation, many of our customers could have their rehab, chemo or dialysis at home, enabling them to get on with their lives," added Mr Drummond.