Jump to content

Medicare Safety Net - Obstetrics no longer covered?


  • Please log in to reply
125 replies to this topic

#76 angels11

Posted 08 January 2010 - 11:04 PM

I posted to this thread a while ago and just came back to see how its progressed now we are past 01/01/10.  This is a bit of a long reply.....I'm quite interested in it as its directly affected us and our decision.

Lokum - I totally agree with you - I think for a long time people have got very comfortable with the safety net (I know I have original.gif) - but really the amount that specialists charge over and above the scheduled fee I find unbelievable.

Seepi - I agree entirely.  I've been paying this bl00dy health cover to have a baby for 3 years now and now I won't be having my baby in a private hospital.  Only consolation is that my public hospital will give me a private room using my PHI.

Rokate -
QUOTE
The $$$ saved by doling out money directly to compensate private patients for paying private specialists for their private healthcare, will theorectically be kept in the public system for the benefit of all Australians
- I agree I doubt this will happen - is there correlation to nearly anything the govt does in this country????

stagedom -
QUOTE
Now by people like ourselves choosing to go elsewhere this may discourage the OB from charging exorbitant fees and may drop his fees in line with others
.  Unfortunately I think they have enough 'power' not to care - I told my OB's secretary that we really thought we couldn't afford it (especially in light of us being out of pocket due to d&c in 2009) - she just said 'oh well'.  I was a little surprised.  I think my OB is quite well known and in fact has a bit of a queue of people wanting to see him.  
QUOTE
loise3sofar I think you are a little off track. Not all the OB's are greedy "fat cats
- and in fact some really good ones actually work in/for public hospitals.

Freakin-out Dad -
QUOTE
Since i last posted on this forum my wife and i took advantage of a weekly tour to both the local public and private hospital facilities. We were glad that we did it. For us, it confirmed why we're choosing to go private
- I'd be interested to find out why.  I did exactly the same exercise and thought the opposite original.gif.

MistyGirl - I like the idea of having PHI paying for OB's (in fact thats what I thought I was paying for, for a really long time - not from australia so didn't really understand how medicare, PHI worked for a while).

Louise3sofar -
QUOTE
Because I doubt any of us really believe that the money saved is going back into the public system
- totally agree!  
QUOTE
As for OB's overcharging. As there is disparity in their fees, there is also disparity in the quality of care provided
- well I think the care I received from an OB in the public hospital was just as good as what I received privately - in fact I found the OB in the public hospital to be somewhat more 'genuine'.  I've had to see another ob twice when my OB's been away (once when I m/c!).

I think that the people who are really missing out are those in IVF treatment.  I do know of friends doing ivf in the public system - but there is still a gap.  I find it horrendous that now some people won't be able to actually conceive - I believe that is soooo much worse than not having an OB.

Can someone tell me what the scheduled fee actually is?  I understand it to be what the govt has decided a certain item # or procedure will cost?? - like in the public system. If this is the cost - OB's and other specialists are performing daylight robbery!!

#77 neaka

Posted 09 January 2010 - 04:37 PM

QUOTE
I think that the people who are really missing out are those in IVF treatment. I do know of friends doing ivf in the public system - but there is still a gap. I find it horrendous that now some people won't be able to actually conceive - I believe that is soooo much worse than not having an OB.


Totally agree with this! We luckily fell PG in October last year and missed the cost rises for IVF. i really feel for infertile couples who are now going to have to a) limit how many cycles they do b) give up on their hopes of having a baby c) get themselves into debt doing so and then not have the option of an OB when they finally do fall.

IVF ate up a huge chunk of the money we had spent 3 years saving towards our house, i feel for those who are less well off than us and have had their options cut short.

Sorry, abit off topic but after doing IVF it is very close to my heart!!



#78 Future-self

Posted 09 January 2010 - 06:54 PM

QUOTE (11baby11 @ 08/01/2010, 11:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can someone tell me what the scheduled fee actually is?  I understand it to be what the govt has decided a certain item # or procedure will cost?? - like in the public system. If this is the cost - OB's and other specialists are performing daylight robbery!!


Item number 16590.  $306.30 (2010)

This is not a real cost. Last year the Scedule was $119.75 and the govt. admits that upping the scheduled fee by 150% was simply a bone thrown to appease the outcry of removal from the Safety Net.
Who really knows what the 'true cost' of managing a pregnancy is? As a public patient, what does that $306.30 actually pay for? The delivery? How many times do you 'meet' your Ob and get to ask questions?
I'd be interested to hear from Public patients under Ob care if they feel the $306.30 the taxpayer paid was worth it!

And as some PP said, their Private Obs were available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the whole time they were under their care. They come at any hour of the day or night when complications or false alarms occur. Obviously that service is worth more than $306.30

#79 07gbam

Posted 10 January 2010 - 03:16 PM

6 years of medical school. two years postgraduate internship. very difficult exams to enter fellowship training. up to seven years training while working and studying under stressful and demanding circumstances. indemnity fees of over $100,000 per annum and rising. understandably high expectations of perfect outcomes from patients. relocating to another country for at least a year at your own expense and inconvenience to family and yourself. costs of running a small business and employing staff. leaving own children's parties to deliver a baby, missing christmas altogether while being in the hospital attending to the needs of others, constant interruption to family life. waking up at night and being expected to function at a very high level. making difficult decisions that affect the life of two human beings and being held to account for every decision you make by the judgement of your peers, the public and the coroner in some cases. rarely being able to relax with a few drinks in case you get called out. not having the lifestyle most people take for granted. paying $85 to an electrician to simply walk into your house knowing his/her training and lifestyle is so different to yours and that he/she can charge whatever she/he likes. going out of your way for patients but knowing if you even asked a lawyer to phone you or photocopy a piece of paper you would be sent a bill.

we considered all of this in our 'research'

cost of using private obstetrician $5500. cost of plasma screen TV and home theatre set up $4000. no contest.

pay peanuts. get monkeys.

#80 One two three

Posted 10 January 2010 - 04:50 PM

well said 07gbam   tthumbs.gif

I have used an OB for my pregnancies and though he was the bees knees. Worth every cent. We didn't get any money back with DD and get the rebate with DS. I would have gone with the OB again regardless of getting the rebate as I like piece of mind- funnily enough though we paid all that money and he didn't make it to DS's birth as it happened too quick.


#81 BentoBaby

Posted 10 January 2010 - 06:21 PM

QUOTE (07gbam @ 10/01/2010, 04:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
cost of using private obstetrician $5500. cost of plasma screen TV and home theatre set up $4000. no contest.

pay peanuts. get monkeys.


Whilst I agree with you that obs do a tireless job and deserved to be paid for it I do not agree that $5500 is reasonable. I know here in Sydney there are EXCELLENT obs delivering at the SAN for example charging less than half that and still living very comfortably.

For what it is worth, I have read your previous posts and I think you have a vested interest in this topic.  wwhistle.gif

Edited by mtilly, 10 January 2010 - 06:23 PM.


#82 littlepickle

Posted 10 January 2010 - 07:36 PM

It has costed women up to $5000 to have a homebirth with no government rebate ( unless you are in WA and can use CMP ). Basically I dont think that $3500 - $6000 is unreasonable for a private OB.

You are paying for a choice.

littlepickle

#83 ~crackajac~

Posted 10 January 2010 - 07:57 PM

I actually agree with 07gbam. If you calculate it $5000 pregnancy management fee and divide that by nine months in days approximately- they are only getting $18.50/day to be on call for you for 24 hours/ day for that nine months. Not much really. I get not much less for being on call as a nurse. I am lucky though as my OB's management fee is only $1200.

I am not saying it doesn't suck and by removing the safety net stuff it is going to push A LOT of people into the already very overcrowded public system but I do get the OB's point as well



#84 07gbam

Posted 11 January 2010 - 04:32 PM

mtilly, we all have a vested interest in this subject.

#85 I Love My 2

Posted 16 January 2010 - 08:13 AM

It is a shame less will be covered, but overall you pay for having them on call for you. It is very expensive, but it is each individual persons decision. The obs are providing a service and no not everyone will want to pay, but still they are offering a service.

#86 BentoBaby

Posted 16 January 2010 - 10:08 AM

QUOTE (07gbam @ 11/01/2010, 05:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
mtilly, we all have a vested interest in this subject.



Yes this is true 07gbam, but not all from the same perspective...


#87 Kristl

Posted 20 January 2010 - 11:16 AM

this has been such an interesting forum to read!  07gbam you really hit the nail on the head for me!  I just spent close to $5K for the services of a wedding photographer so why on earth should I not be prepared to spend that to look after me and our baby!

#88 conventdweller

Posted 01 March 2010 - 07:42 PM

as the parent of 4 (healthy children) to be realistic, the obstetricians fee is the cheapest part of having children....just wait, you will soon see it all in perspective original.gif

Being an obstetrician is not just a job, it is an all encompassing lifesyle, just without the personal aspect.

#89 allthiseffortpaidoff

Posted 01 March 2010 - 09:59 PM

and just to add...
I paid $2000 for my 20 week management fee and had my daughter 6 weeks ago (at 39 weeks)
OB wasn't there for the delivery, he wasn't there at all as I delivered at 5:55am.  He came in at 6:15am, he was angry the midwife hadn't called him sooner.

Some OB's have standing orders not to be called before 0530, so check what your OB's orders are!

#90 mousebaby

Posted 02 March 2010 - 05:26 AM

We have just paid our 20'week management fee and was considerably out of pocket.
While it would have been nice to get the higher rebate, we still paid it.

25 weeks ago, i was a fit, healthy , working women, now, I have severe hyperemisis, muscle degeneration and constant migranes and have spent a considerable ammount of time in hospital.
My obs has been there every single step of the way. He has come in at all hours of the day and night to see me, re-align drips, re-assess medicine.
I am a regular in his office. He will consult with me over the phone ( we live 3hrs from him and hospital) and so far his decesions have saved my life. Money well spent.  

I personlly feel that PHi should cover a percentage of obs fees.
The governemnt can not provide middle class welfare forever. It should have announced this decesion in detail and then given 10 months before it come into effect to allow families who are currently pregnant to move through the system.


    


#91 allthiseffortpaidoff

Posted 02 March 2010 - 02:37 PM

I had bleeds on and off during pregnancy so the 20 week fee was money well spent for 1 on 1 care in my eyes!

#92 illusion

Posted 02 March 2010 - 03:04 PM

My OB has adjusted his fees. I was told me that the maximum I will be out of pocket will be $1,800.00 which I thought was pretty good for Sydney. For us it is cash well spent.



#93 judy_

Posted 02 March 2010 - 09:56 PM

I'm actually really glad that the taxpayer is funding less towards overpriced obstetrician private births - especially for low risk pregnancies.
Sorry to be blunt but my public hospital birth involved 4 or 5 midwife visits and 8 hours in hospital with 1 midwife - never saw an ob.  only doctor we ever saw was a paediatrican for a 20 minute discharge visit.

I got fantastic care and I am the only person who I know IRL who can honestly say they had a positively life changing birth.

I have no problem if you want to visit your obstetrican for $150 every two weeks, pay an exorbitant management fee, stay in hospital for 5 nights, get wine with your meals, have your partner stay in a double bed, have high levels of unecessary care etc. then that's your choice but don't ask me to contribute towards it.  (yes I have private health insurance that I chose not to use for my birth)

And yep - the taxpayer is paying more towards your birth in terms of 30% private health insurance rebate and medicare rebates (both inpatient and outpatient) than the total cost of my birth.

Yep - I also know that some people require more care due to higher risks and I think that the majority of overcharged, overserviced births means that everyone is lumped in together and hence the rules are across the board.  This to me is the only sad part about the safety net being withdrawn from obstetrics.

#94 blossomdeary

Posted 04 March 2010 - 10:12 AM

QUOTE (judy_ @ 02/03/2010, 10:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have no problem if you want to visit your obstetrican for $150 every two weeks, pay an exorbitant management fee, stay in hospital for 5 nights, get wine with your meals, have your partner stay in a double bed, have high levels of unecessary care etc. then that's your choice but don't ask me to contribute towards it.  (yes I have private health insurance that I chose not to use for my birth)


I agree - but this is not the reason I decided to go private... nor was it the motivation for any of the many people I know who went through the private system. There was no wine at my hospital and no room for DH to sleep...

For me it was about the care of my OB from start to finish. Any questions/problems I have his pager number and could see him and my baby on the screen at any time for peace of mind. He made me feel secure and sure that everything would be ok when I thought it wouldn't be (bleeding etc.).

During labour he was absolutely incredible - made sure I was fully informed and gave me the confidence to make decisions about my labour and take control. It was a life changing experience for me and I believe a huge part of that was because of my OB. The post birth vistis to my room were also wonderful - he made sure I was ok and put his hand on my shoulder and told me what fantastic job I did during labour. He made my experience incredible and memorable.

Admittedly I do have arguably the best OB in Sydney!! wub.gif and even though I'll be out of pocket $5,000 for him this time, to me it is worth every penny... and more.

This time in fact we are not covered for private hospital as we weren't planing to TTC till later in the year... and so hadn't upgraded our PHI to include obstetrics - damn!  So I will be delivering this bub with my OB at my local public hospital as a private patient.

Edited by blossomdeary, 04 March 2010 - 10:14 AM.


#95 Sloane Peterson

Posted 04 March 2010 - 02:33 PM

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/...6-1225830156618

This article discusses the major issue with the safety net changes - which is the fact that they are already overbooked - how will they copy from May or so onwards, when the full brunt of the changes come into effect.

I for one live on the Northern Beaches of Sydney - there is a huge population serviced by one small hospital. Catchment restrictions mean that you cannot book into any other hospitals near the area.

In the past the majority of ob patients have gone private (no doubt due to the lack of public facilities in the area) but it will be awful for anyone who has to deliver in manly hospital after the next few months.

I know of several c-section patients who have been told to leave 1-2 days after surgery so it will only get worse!

Unfortunately I think it's going to have to take a couple of medical disasters before something is done about this awful situation!!!


Edited by Kittenmagitten, 04 March 2010 - 02:38 PM.


#96 blossomdeary

Posted 05 March 2010 - 07:01 AM

^^ This is exactly why they talk about closing maternity facilities at hospitals... they just don't have the staff/facilities up to scratch and it ends up safer for mother and baby to birth somewhere else.

Everyone kicks up a stink 'Oh but I don't want to have to travel to Royal North Shore from Manly etc. etc.' but ask yourself this - wouldn't you rather be in an environment with excellent clinical facilities to have your baby? At the end of the day isn't your baby's safety worth the extra 20 minutes drive?

Corrie - that story is just awful... that should never happen and there's no excuse but I do strongly believe that maternity facilities should either be offered at an acceptable level - or not offered at all. It's just too dangerous for mothers and babies.

Re the medicare changes - it's a great first step that the controls have gone to Canberra (about time!) and here's hoping for a full overhaul as they are talking about.

#97 fooiesmum

Posted 05 March 2010 - 07:44 AM

I'm a northern beaches mum too - I had DD @ the SAN, so was prepared to travel.

RNS is only taking local area patients as far as I am aware, so unless you have a high risk pregnancy/previous complications/or previous C/S you don't have a choice, you live in Manly - Manly is your only birthing hospital option.

Maternity @ Mona Vale has been closed for renovations for almost 12 months - the midwives from Mona Vale have been moved to Manly - almost 1/2 of them have retired as there wasn't enough space for all to work @ Manly with two full teams of midwives, so when Mona Vale Maternity finally reopens they may struggle to find midwives to staff!

Just so wrong on so many levels - the level of care is terrible.

#98 Sloane Peterson

Posted 05 March 2010 - 08:36 AM

QUOTE
Yep I live near manly hospital and after today's story in the manly daily where the lady gave birth and in her room there were still the sanitary pads and blood on the bathroom floor from the previous patient the day before and the epidural machine broke down then the ladies with c/sections who were sent to RNS after being in labour! yikes, I feel sorry for people who have to give birth there. No apologies from the hospital to these ladies at all, just excuses why it happened.


OMG! THis is just awful!!!!

I'm not surprised really.

I had my LO at the Mater. I was out of pocket about $5k all up. Next time around, there is NO WAY I can afford to be out of pocket an extra $2k or so. That's ludicrous.

I will be using a friends address to access facilities at RNS along with shared care from my GP. I live in Mona Vale, though, so with the closure of Mona Vale hospital, RNS is almost as quick to drive to as Manly.

#99 Guest_christinam_*

Posted 16 March 2010 - 12:45 PM

Just called my obgyn for prices hoping that he may have lessened them..nope in fact they have gone up! so I don't think the governments message is getting across to the obgyns.  They have the upper hand because the public hospitals are suffering they play on people willing to pay to get the best for their baby.
Even my gp reccomended to go provate rather than public now what does that tell you!  Also what is the point in having health care that rises every years but actually doesn't cover a hell of a lot?!

hormonal and grumpy :-(

#100 nessed

Posted 16 March 2010 - 08:39 PM

Not sure if this has been mentioned in previous pages but...

The Medicare Safety Net has been taken away from us for OB fees but don't forget there is the Medical Expense Tax offset which pays 20% rebate for total medical expenses over $1,500 in a financial year. That includes hospital, Health Insurance gaps, Ob fees, GP gaps, blood tests, xrays, dental bills, and other kinds of medical bills where you have been referred by a GP such as physio (but not actual health insurance premiums because you already get the 30% rebate off those).

You should check this out and have the highest earner (usually DH after the bub is born) to claim all of these in his tax return. Check previous years because you can amend if you forgot to claim.

Its not as good as the safety was but don't ignore it.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 
 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Viewed Articles

 
Advertisement
 
 
 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.