Medibank expands no-gap joint replacement pilot program

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Medibank has announced that more than half a million of its customers now have the option to access no-gap joint replacements following the expansion of its support for the no-gap joint replacement pilot program.

The company said seven hospitals will now offer no-gap joint replacements through participating surgeons to eligible Medibank customers, where clinically appropriate.

The hospitals are Westside Private Hospital in Brisbane, South Perth Hospital, Canberra Private Hospital, Stirling Hospital in Adelaide, Macquarie University Hospital in Sydney, Vermont Private Hospital in Melbourne’s east, and East Sydney Private Hospital.

Under the program, eligible customers will pay no out-of-pocket on the services for pre-admission joint school, joint replacement surgery with a participating surgeon, including the prosthesis (artificial joint), anaesthetist costs, assistant surgeon costs, hospital accommodation, all theatre costs and diagnostic tests.

If clinically appropriate, receiving rehabilitation in the comfort of your own home could also be an option if a rehabilitation at home provider is available in your area.

CEO David Koczkar said the company is expanding support for the pilot program to meet increasing customer demand.

“The no-gap joint replacement program is providing many of our customers with greater choice and control when it comes to how and where they access healthcare and what it will cost,” said Mr Koczkar.

“By working with our hospital and doctor partners to support these new options, customers can pay no out-of-pocket medical costs, and can choose the healthcare that suits their needs in consultation with their doctor.

“This is one of many options for our customers when seeking treatment; they have the choice of which hospital and doctor they see, and the clinical decisions are made by the specialist as usual.

“The short-stay, no-gap model for joint replacements aims to minimise the time a patient spends in hospital, where clinically appropriate, by giving them the option to have rehabilitation in the comfort and familiar surroundings of their own home.

“Approximately 100,000 people have joint replacement surgery in Australia each year, and it’s one of the most common procedures for Medibank customers. Patients who have already participated in the no-gap joint replacement program have saved more than $1,500 on average in out-of-pocket costs.

“We are always listening to what our customers want and how their healthcare could be better delivered to suit their needs and lifestyle. Healthcare in the home, lower or no out-of-pocket costs, and more information about the costs and options prior to their treatment are the key things our customers tell us they want,” added Mr Koczkar.