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CHA says care at home can reduce pressure on the straining hospital system (Bigstock)

Catholic Health Australia is calling on private health insurers to fund care at home, saying millions of Australians are missing out on crucial services while insurers make record profits. Source: The Australian.

In a pre-budget submission to Treasury, CHA has urged the federal Government to force insurers to offer rebates to consumers who receive treatments at home.

The peak body – representing 15 per cent of hospital-based healthcare in Australia and 25 per cent of private hospital care – said several services could be offered safely at home and lead to better patient outcomes for treatments including chemotherapy, dialysis, wound care, palliative care and post-surgical rehab.

The push comes as new analysis from the Australian Medical Association reveals management expenses for private health insurers have skyrocketed 32 per cent over the past four years to June 2023, an increase of $716 million.

Over the same period, doctors say insurers recorded a 50.2 per cent increase in profit, according to data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

With rising pressure on insurers to fund healthcare services in consumers’ homes, new polling has found an overwhelming majority of patients believe they should be able to decide where they receive care.

According to Redbridge polling of 1500 people, commissioned by CHA, 87 per cent of patients believe the Government should require insurers to provide care at the patient’s choice of location while 82 per cent would consider homecare an option if it were covered by health funds.

CHA chief executive Jason Kara said Australia was “falling further behind international peers”, with British and American medical professionals increasingly offering care at home.

“Care at home can lead to lower readmission rates, shorter stays and increased patient satisfaction, as well as reduce pressure on the straining hospital system – but private hospitals are unable to provide it without funding agreements,” Mr Kara said.


Cover health services at home, insurers told (By Jess Malcolm, The Australian)