HCF partners with HealthShare target out-of-pocket costs
A initiative launched by not-for-profit health fund HCF will give members information about 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.”
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.
More information about HCF’s out-of-pocket expenses initiative - https://www.hcf.com.au/locations/find-a-participating-provider.
To learn more see www.healthshare.com.au
16 February 2019.