Medibank reveals data on longest hospital admissions

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New data from Medibank has revealed that ten of its customers spent nearly seven years admitted to hospital in the year from May 2017.

The ten longest hospital admissions for customers equalled a total of 2,436 days and ranged from 339 – just under a year – to 200 days for a single stay.

The longest admission in hospital saw Medibank pay a benefit of nearly $150,000 on behalf of a customer.

NSW had the longest stays in hospital, said Medibank, with 10 of its customers having nearly six years of hospital admission days between them (2,149 days), followed by Queensland with ten customers staying for 1,803 days.

The data also shows that psychiatric admissions were the most common cause of an extended stay in private hospital, accounting for six of the ten longest private hospital admissions – and attracting a total benefit from Medibank of $498,113.

Medibank chief medical officer Dr Linda Swan said the unexpected nature of many of these admissions highlight the importance of people having an appropriate level of health cover.

“It’s often very hard on patients when they are in hospital for long periods of time and away from their family and support networks. However when you are dealing with serious health issues, long admissions are sometimes necessary to ensure patients get the help they need from their treating doctors and the extended care team in a hospital,” said Dr Swan.

“Mental health admissions can vary greatly in duration and complexity. We can see from this new data that psychiatric admissions make up a large portion of patients’ extended stays in hospital.”

“These patients took out cover with Medibank to be sure they can get the care they need, when they need it and for however long it is required. Admissions like this may not be common, but they do show what it means to insure your health,” added Dr Swan.