HCF Ahead of the Pack on Transparency
Members respond to new tool helping avoid “bill shock”
13 June 2019 – Sydney, HCF’s recently launched out of pocket costs tool has proven hugely successful in providing members valuable information on the range of out-of-pocket expenses charged by individual specialists for common procedures. The digital platform, launched by HCF in February of this year is the first of its kind designed to ensure members have the tools they need to avoid or minimise gap payments.
The Federal Government has recently announced they will also be setting up a tool for comparison purposes althought the timing of its implementation is unclear.
Dr Andrew Cottrill, HCF’s Chief Medical Officer, says HCF recognised that out-of-pocket expenses associated with medical procedures were 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. By launching this platform, we have empowered our members to make decisions with a greater awareness of the potential out of pockets costs they may face” said Dr Cottrill.
The data is also available to GPs via their clinical software to help inform discussions with HCF members about the likely cost of common procedures at the time of referral.
Information is provided on over 210 common procedures based on HCF claims data. From its launch on 21 February to end April more than 27,000 HCF members viewed health provider details with more than 25,000 searching for procedure fees. The most common procedure gaps viewed were for cataract removal and lens replacement, colonoscopy and related treatments, knee and hip replacement and childbirth.
“It is great to see our members using this valuable on-line resource to support them in choosing their specialist” said Dr Cottrill.
In 2017/18 HCF – Australia’s largest not for profit health insurer, provided private health insurance to more than 1.5 million members; paid more than $2.2 billion to members in hospital and extras claims and covered more than 589,000 hospital admissions.
For more information visit www.hcf.com.au call 13 13 34 or visit a branch.
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Issued on behalf of HCF by Palin Communications. Media enquiries to:
- Hamish Walsh
Ph: 02 9412 2255
M: 0422 424 338
- Karina Durham
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HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund protecting Australians since 1932, covers over 1.5 million members with health and life insurance, community care, 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 My Health Guardian health management program, mobile Victor Chang Health Checks and My Global Specialist second opinion service. 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