Leading the way in SA with gap-free hip and knee joint replacements


In a South Australian first, eligible Bupa members[1] can access comprehensive care for hip or knee joint replacement surgery, with zero out of pocket-costs[2].  


The partnership between Australia’s largest health insurer, Bupa and The Joint Replacement Clinic (JRC) in Adelaide will see eligible SA members covered from initial consultations through to post-surgery rehabilitation either at home or in a supported care facility[2].

Emily Amos, Bupa’s Managing Director of Health Insurance said this partnership is a major win for South Australians.

“We know that two common barriers to booking in these important surgeries are out-of-pocket-costs and the prospect of traveling back and forth to a hospital or clinic for rehabilitation.

“Through our partnership with the JRC, we are able to address both of these concerns at a time when many South Australians are concerned about their finances or spending extended time in hospital as a result of COVID-19.

“This is all about helping members get more out of their health insurance rather than paying from their own pockets,” said Ms Amos.

Since 1999, around 1.5 million hip and knee joint replacement procedures have taken place in Australia[1] with this rate continuing to grow as a result of our country’s ageing population. Data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare also suggests South Australians in the public system are waiting longer for surgeries than the national average[2].

“We are proud to be looking after our South Australian members by providing them timely access to hip and knee joint replacement surgeries without the stress of being placed on lengthy surgery wait-lists,” said Ms Amos.

Chris Maher, JRC Director said the innovative JRC offering delivers a streamlined service that simplifies the patient-experience.

“By establishing a single point of care, and coordinating all relevant health providers, Bupa members are enabled to strengthen their relationship with their surgeon and be more actively involved in their own care.

“The new JRC clinical pathway enables Bupa members to receive quality accountable co-ordinated end-to-end care, and to choose where they receive their rehab services, whilst also minimising any financial burden by delivering a no gap experience,” Mr Maher said.

The program is available to South Australian customers who hold an appropriate level of Hospital cover (joint replacement procedures) and have served the 12-month waiting period. Members with excess products will still need to pay the excess.

Mrs Reid, a patient who was treated through the JRC program said having a single point of contact was really important.

“Being able to ring my care co-ordinator gave me a lot of reassurance. I met the doctors and support people beforehand, which was good because I had a few issues I was able to discuss at an early stage.

"I also saw the supported care facility before my surgery, which made me feel more comfortable and positive going into the operation as I had been apprehensive,” said Mrs Reid.


[2] https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/myhospitals/intersection/access/eswt

Media reference number: 20/094