News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Private hospital group partners with health insurer to unveil new mental health care model

Health Industry Hub | July 7, 2023 |

MedTech & Diagnostics News: Australia’s mental health care landscape is set to undergo a transformation with the opening of Deakin Private Hospital in Canberra. The state-of-the-art facility, operated under the iMH joint venture between Aurora Healthcare and Medibank, promises a new era in mental health management.

With two additional hospitals planned for Sydney within the next two years, the $27 million Deakin Private Hospital paves the way for a comprehensive and integrated approach to mental health care. The facility boasts 52 patient beds, including a dedicated unit with 12 beds specifically designed for adolescents and young adults aged 16 and over. This unit features vibrant amenities like a basketball court and relaxation areas to create a positive and engaging environment.

Aurora Healthcare’s Australian portfolio comprises 16 private hospitals and community services in major cities and key regional areas. 

Deakin Private Hospital aims to provide mental health patients with holistic care, seamlessly combining hospital and community services. The overarching goal is to reduce hospital readmission rates while empowering patients with increased choice, value, and control over their treatment.

By offering a range of care pathways such as inpatient, day attendance, in-home, and community-based treatment, the hospital ensures continuity of care throughout patients’ recovery journeys. This pioneering model will be a lifeline for the ACT community and surrounding regions, including Goulburn and Yass.

Joanne Levin, the CEO of iMH, expressed her excitement about the hospital’s clinical autonomy and flexibility. Psychiatrists will have the freedom to deliver care through various treatment options, both within the hospital and in community settings.

Ms Levin highlighted the importance of providing longitudinal treatment and support to patients after hospital discharge, acknowledging that many individuals require readmission. The iMH model fills this gap by facilitating a patient journey that might start with an overnight hospital admission for assessment and treatment. Subsequently, patients may transition to a case management treatment model, involving home visits by mental health clinicians and telehealth follow-up appointments twice a day.

The model recognises that recovery is a dynamic process, with patients having unique needs at different stages. Deakin Private Hospital has tailored its care delivery to adapt to these evolving needs, fostering an environment that optimally supports patients’ recovery.

“This alternative model of care grants doctors and patients the power to choose the most suitable treatment at the right time, enabling patients to achieve their treatment goals,” Ms Levin commented.

One of the hospital’s first patients, Christopher Payne, shared his experience, hoping to inspire others to seek the support they need. Mr Payne, a 38-year-old from the Riverina Region, described his stay as exceptionally comfortable, shattering his preconceived notions about psychiatric facilities.

“My initial apprehensions about visiting a mental health hospital vanished when I encountered the welcoming staff,” he revealed. “The team’s unwavering support and round-the-clock assistance made my stay significantly easier.”

Even after discharge, Mr Payne continues his treatment through outpatient programs, connecting with his care team via phone due to his circumstances.

The facility features beautifully landscaped grounds with passive and active recreational spaces. Alongside private beds with ensuites and group therapy rooms, the inviting environment also hosts co-located private practice suites and Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) clinics.

Looking ahead, the iMH model promises to inject innovation into the mental health care sector while ensuring its long-term sustainability amid rising demand.

“We are immensely proud to offer alternative care models in mental health,” remarked Ms Levin. The construction of Deakin Private Hospital, undertaken by Barwon Investment Partners, marks the first successful endeavour of the Aurora Healthcare/Medibank joint venture.

Exciting developments are on the horizon, with the conversion of Hirondelle Private Hospital in Chatsworth, Sydney, into an iMH mental health facility scheduled for late 2024. Additionally, a third iMH hospital is slated to be built in Alexandria, opening its doors in 2025. These expansions will further extend the reach of this transformative mental health care model, providing crucial services to communities in need.

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