Sydney, 14 February, 2019 – A new initiative launched by not-for-profit health fund HCF will give members valuable information on the out-of-pocket expenses charged by individual specialists. The digital platform, developed in partnership with HealthShare, is the first of its kind designed to ensure members have the tools they need to avoid or minimise gap payments.
The initiative, available via the HealthShare website, will allow members to access data about typical out-of-pocket expenses.
Dr Andrew Cottrill, HCF’s Medical Director, says HCF recognises that out-of-pocket expenses associated with medical procedures are a significant problem and a major pain point for consumers.
“Fees can vary widely between medical specialists and it is difficult for consumers to make informed decisions when selecting healthcare providers. We are advocating for increased transparency around costs for our members. By developing this platform, we want to empower our members to make decisions with a greater awareness of the potential out of pocket costs they may face” said Dr Cottrill.
HealthShare’s find-a-provider directory also helps members find local specialists participating in HCF’s Known Gap or No Gap scheme called Medicover.
According to Dr Cottrill, “We previously made information available about how frequently specialists charge less than $500 in out-of-pocket expenses by using our Medicover scheme. Now we have taken the next step to clearly show what their out-of-pocket costs may be based on our claims data”.
The data will also be available to general practitioners via their clinical software to help inform discussions with patients about the likely cost of treatment for HCF members.
Mr Rami Weiss, HealthShare CEO said “At HealthShare, we believe that the best health decisions are informed ones – especially when it comes to choosing the right specialist for each person’s needs. That’s why our independent platform provides patients and their GPs with key information about a specialist, including their clinical expertise, practice locations, fees, availability and more”.
Both HCF and HealthShare are dedicated to helping consumers access a range of information to enable better health choices. The online platform, which receives over 500,000 unique visitors each month, allows Australians to search for specialists and gather information, such as fees, sub-specialties, special interest areas, location, hospital affiliations and languages spoken. It is also designed to allow specialists to add their own fee information to their profiles as a way to better inform patients and returning doctors.
For more information about HCF’s out-of-pocket expenses initiative visit https://www.hcf.com.au/locations/find-a-participating-provider. To learn more visit healthshare.com.au
HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund protecting Australians since 1932, covers over 1.5 million members with health and life insurance, and travel and pet insurance. On average over the last five years, HCF has paid out more cents in every dollar in premiums to members as benefits than the industry average. With over 35,000 specialists participating in its Medical Gap Cover Scheme and approximately 10,000 providers participating in its 100% back More for You programs, HCF gives members access to quality health care with no gaps or minimal costs compared to non-participating providers. To empower members to put their health first, HCF also offers a range of health and lifestyle services including its Healthy Weight for Life programs, mobile Victor Chang Heart Health Checks, Thank You rewards program and preparing for hospital online tool. HCF’s national network of retail outlets and Australian-based call centres have earned multi-award winning status. HCF members also have access to low cost, high quality services at HCF Dental Centres and HCF Eyecare Centres. Having contributed $50 million to support the health services research funded by the HCF Research Foundation, HCF is devoted to investing in the future of Australia’s health. To learn more about HCF go to hcf.com.au/about-us
A health tech company founded in 2010, HealthShare uses technology as a tool to improve efficiencies and enable connections between patients and healthcare professionals, health programs and information.
HealthShare is an award winning company and regularly features in the Deloitte Top 50 and 500 lists; Westpac 200 Businesses of Tomorrow Award (2017), Deloitte Technology Fast 50 (2018, 2014), Deloitte Technology Fast 500 (2017, 2016, 2015).