Revised: The San opts out of contracts with the Australian Health Service Alliance
This online article is a reissued version of an online article titled ‘The San opts out of contracts with the Australian Health Service Alliance’ dated 18 January 2022 that was published on our website. The article is being reissued to address concerns that AHSA had about some of the content of the previous online article.
The San opts out of contracts with the Australian Health Service Alliance
Since we opened, Sydney Adventist Hospital (the San) and San Day Surgery Hornsby have not fallen out of contract with a health fund. For the first time in our almost 119-year history, this has now occurred.
For several months, Adventist Health Care Limited (AHCL) - the operators of Sydney Adventist Hospital and San Day Surgery, Hornsby - has been in contractual negotiations with the Australian Health Services Alliance (AHSA) for the renegotiation of a new Business Partnership Agreement (BPA) to apply from 1 December 2021. If it had been agreed, the new BPA would have applied to all AHSA funds (that chose to opt-in to the agreement).
The parties were unable to reach an agreement and, on 1 December 2021, AHCL issued a notice of termination in accordance with the terms of BPA. The termination took effect from 7 February 2022 and therefore no contract has been in place between the parties since that time.
In the course of the extensive negotiations, each party made compromises and agreement was able to be reached on some commercial terms. However, AHCL and AHSA were not able to agree on other terms important to them, including important conditions, the rates for benefits and indexation of those rates that would apply under the new agreement from 1 December 2021.
AHCL and AHSA remain open to undertaking further negotiations in an effort to resolve the differences they have between them on important conditions and commercial issues in order to reach agreement on a BPA.
“Being unable to reach agreement with AHSA was disappointing and an outcome that we tried to avoid through lengthy negotiations,” said an AHCL spokesperson. “It was particularly difficult as many of our long-standing and valued customers are members of AHSA health funds.”
Patients of AHSA funds that were already booked in for hospital treatment at Sydney Adventist Hospital or San Day Surgery Hornsby on or before 7 February 2022 will, in most cases, be covered under their fund’s existing contract with AHCL for up to six months after the agreement’s expiration. The current agreement ended on 7 February 2022.
AHCL has agreements in place with all other major Australian health funds including HCF, BUPA, Medibank, nib, Astute Simplicity Health, Cessnock and District Health, Latrobe Health Services, Mildura District Hospital Fund, St Luke’s Medical and Hospital Fund, for example. We are hopeful that we can progress a contract with the AHSA and its member funds in the future and indeed AHCL has already reached interim arrangements with some AHSA funds directly, including ACA, Australian Unity, Phoenix and Doctors’ Health Fund. In principle, arrangements have also been reached with rt Health and Transport Workers, and these are being progressed to new contracts. These two funds have departed AHSA and become part of the HCF group of funds.
Australia's private health insurance regulations allow members to move their cover to another health fund with no impact on waiting periods, provided certain conditions are met. If you require more information on portability please refer to the PHIO link below.
If you have further queries, please do not hesitate to speak to your doctor or you can contact the Alliance Specialist at AHCL:
P: (02) 9480 1441 M: 0436 528 541 E: AllianceEnquiries@sah.org.au