Health Partner rejects new contract with Calvary
3rd March 2015
South Australian private health insurer, Health Partners, has rejected a new agreement with Calvary – a leading Australian private hospital operator– negotiated on behalf of it and 24 other funds by the Australian Health Service Alliance (the Alliance).
While all the other 24 health funds under the Alliance umbrella agreed to a new agreement with Calvary late last year, Health Partners – without advising Calvary – took the decision to ignore the Alliance recommendation and has rejected the offer.
“We are baffled by the stance taken by Health Partners,” Calvary National CEO, Mr Mark Doran, said today.
“Calvary has been negotiating in good faith with the Alliance since July last year. During this time Health Partners was more than happy to be represented – along with 24 other health funds – by the Alliance,” he said.
“It was agreed by both parties that the new agreement would address Calvary’s concerns about poor rates, which were to be made up over four years.
“At the 11th hour, Health Partners then extricates itself from the Alliance; the only fund not to accept the new contract.
“We find it extremely disappointing and frustrating that Health Partners, at the last minute, has chosen to go against the decision of its other Alliance members and reject the new contract – and not even inform us of its rationale for doing so until last week.”
Calvary is currently in the process of planning for its “out of contract” status with Health Partners and will advise patients booked for admissions of their financial responsibilities prior to their admission. There are transition arrangements in place but patients admitted after 3rd March may have to pay an additional gap.
It also advised Health Partners members to confirm with their health fund what benefits the fund would be paying Calvary for their individual procedures.
“The long term sustainability of services and the quality of care, especially those who are most vulnerable, is under threat by the actions of this fund. We regret that Health Partners have taken this position.” Mr Doran said.
Mr Doran emphasised that today’s decision does not impact Calvary hospitals outside of South Australia, and that Calvary has contracts in place with all health funds who service areas where Calvary hospitals operate.