It is a Commonwealth Government requirement that long-stay patients pay for their hospital stay.
A long-stay patient is a person who:
- Has been in hospital/s for more than 35 days
- No longer needs active hospital treatment
- Still requires a certain level of care
- May be awaiting placement in a nursing home
You will not be charged if you are an ‘acute’ (a patient still receiving active treatment that can only be delivered in a hospital setting) or ‘sub-acute’ (a patient who is not severely ill but needs support to regain their ability to carry out daily activities following illness) patient who has stayed over 35 days.
Patients deems to be long-stay patients will continue to receive the same care and attention from the doctors, nurses, therapists and pharmacists as when they were ‘acute’. Patients are continuously monitored, and can be recategorised as ‘acute’ if their condition changes. Patients will be categorised as ‘long-stay’ following assessment by a doctor.
How does payment occur?
If you are a long-stay patient, an administration or revenue officer will be in contact with you to arrange regular payment. There is a standard rate that is charged. You can find out how much it costs to stay in hospital by ringing the revenue office. The revenue office can also confirm when the charges commence.
You or your next of kin/Enduring Power of Attorney will need to contact Centrelink to advise that you are paying hospital charges and to check if rental assistance is available.
If you have any questions regarding the change in your care type please do not hesitate to talk to your healthcare team. Financial queries to the revenue office can be answered by the revenue team.