The growing cost of hip and knee replacements

The cost of hip and knee surgery is mounting

Australia’s population is ageing and as it does, the rates of arthritis, osteoarthritis and other knee and joint injuries.

Unfortunately, with the increase in these conditions, also comes increased cost to the private and public health care systems.

The growing demand for knee replacements and hip replacements has seen record numbers of Australians flock to private health insurance.

 

Hip Replacement

total-hip-replacement

The average cost of a hip replacement is $25,000, with more than 16,000 surgeries completed, that’s a cost of over $410 million.

Knee Replacement

Knee replacement surgery has increased an amazing 41% since 2012, with costs per procedure around the $20,000 per patient.

Here’s what a knee surgeon on youtube video looks like. This arthroscopy was carried out in 2013 at a cost of $2,560.

knee-replacement-surgery-image

What are the fees for surgery and why are there Gaps?

Most people think that the Government should set fees for surgery.
Actually, they did. Back in 1996 the Australian Federal Government set fees for surgery however, these haven’t increased over time. Researchers and economists suggest that if these costs had been indexed correctly with inflation, the fees would around what the AMA ( Australian Medical Association) suggests.

Unfortunately, this rate is now double what the government agreed to back in 1996, so that is the reason why many surgeons will charge a gap for your surgery. In other words the out of pocket expense, if you don’t have private health insurance, is around $10,000.

What are my chances of needing a hip or knee replacement?

Arthritis is one of the leading causes of pain in the country, with more than 3.8 million Australians affected each year. This condition costs our economy almost $24 billion every year in medical costs and loss of earnings and production.

This is a big problem. In fact, it is projected that the economic effects of arthritis are expected to increase substantially, so that by 2050, it’s forecasted that more than 7 million Australians will suffer from arthritis, possibly requiring knee or hip joint replacement.

That is around 25% of the Australian population. So it makes sense that if you have a 1 in 4 chance of needing knee or hip surgery or total joint replacement, you should probably get private health insurance cover.

It makes sense that the surgery business is booming. In fact not only do patients travel interstate for their procedures, many reports to also travel overseas. However, you can look for great knee orthopedic specialists in your local area by using social media reviews on Facebook and Linked, or specialist directory sites (see below)

Here’s how to find the best-reviewed surgeons.

Finding the best surgeon for these knee surgeries isn’t always easy. Dr Ben Hancock from www.bestkneesurgeon.com.au created an online directory for Australians to compare costs and read surgeon reviews.

Another great place to find good doctors is to look at social media reviews of knee orthopaedic surgeons.

 


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