The Australian Private Hospitals Association (APHA) is the peak national body for private hospitals in Australia. As APHA’s Insurance and Risk partner, we spoke to CEO, Michael Roff about the network’s evolution, and the challenges they anticipate for the term ahead.
THE CRUX OF APHA?
Ensuring the ongoing sustainability and continued development of the private hospital sector in Australia.
REFLECTING ON THE LAST 5 YEARS, HIT US WITH APHA’S TOP 5 MILESTONES.
- Securing a $1.3 billion private hospital COVID viability guarantee from the Commonwealth Government.
- Addendum to the 2025-2025 National Health reform Agreement to limit public hospitals harvesting privately insured patients at the expense of public patients.
- Participation in Private Health Ministerial Advisory Committee to deliver key private health insurance reforms including instant upgrade for mental health, improved transparency in private health insurance products, youth discounts and Second Tier default benefit.
- Development of the Private Psychiatric Hospitals Data Reporting and Analysis Service with funding from the Commonwealth Government.
- Development of the APHA Benchmarking Service of key private hospitals outcome measures.
AT HONAN, MAINTAINING QUALITY CONNECTIONS WITH OUR PEOPLE, PARTNERS & THE COMMUNITY SITS AT THE HEART OF WHAT WE DO. WHAT RELATIONSHIPS & CONNECTIONS HAVE BEEN CRITICAL TO THE SUCCESS OF APHA IN RECENT YEARS?
APHA benefits from its good relationships with both sides of politics (i.e., major parties). We are also in regular contact with the key players in Government departments, other industry stakeholders including doctors, health fund suppliers among others, and of course our own members to ensure we are representing their interests.
THERE HAVE BEEN SIGNIFICANT INCREASES TO THE COST OF PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE OF LATE, WHAT IMPACT DO YOU SEE THAT HAVING ON THE PRIVATE HOSPITAL NETWORK?
Actually, the last two years have seen the lowest premium increases for around 20 years. However, with the costs of providing healthcare increasing, this means health funds have a reduced capacity to compensate hospitals for their cost increases. This is further exacerbated by COVID-19 requirements which have further increased costs and reduced levels of activity.
WHAT ARE THE TOP 3 CHALLENGES THE PRIVATE HOSPITAL NETWORK IS FACING, POST-PANDEMIC?
- “Second Wave” health insurance reforms, including prostheses and out-of-hospital care.
- Health insurance membership and implications for costs and revenue.
- Vertical integration (health insurance entering the health care provider market).
INNOVATIVE CULTURES AND A COMMITMENT TO ONGOING EVOLUTION ARE COMMON HALLMARKS OF SOME OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL ORGANISATIONS TODAY. WHERE DO YOU SEE PRIVATE HOSPITALS IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS?
The private hospital sector is a strong and vibrant part of Australia’s health system, providing high-quality services to the majority of the population. Australia’s private hospitals take pressure off an already over-burdened public health system, as evidenced by the work done to support the public sector during COVID-19, particularly during Victoria’s second wave. This role will continue to grow and develop, in part due to the improved relationships and understanding built during the Pandemic.
Discover more in our Partner Q&A Series: Bowens