25 September 2023

Financial guide for medical treatments

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The Minister for Health, Greg Hunt has welcomed a new Guide produced by the Australian Medical Association (AMA) to assist patients in making decisions about their medical treatments.

“The AMA’s Informed Financial Consent Guide — A Collaboration Between Doctors and Patients, will help patients better understand medical treatment fees and out-of-pocket costs,” Mr Hunt said.

“The Guide will be made available from doctors, medical practices and organisations, and the AMA website.”

He said the provision of an estimate of fees and the costs payable by a patient after any Government and health insurer rebates was the foundation for informed financial consent.

Mr Hunt said the Guide would complement activities to provide improved medical specialists costs transparency, making the system more effective and sustainable.

“Improved transparency will help people choose the right specialist, taking cost into account without waiting for an appointment when they may feel locked in regardless of cost,” Mr Hunt said.

“The Government’s medical specialists’ fee transparency website is being developed in consultation with consumers, medical professionals and insurers to ensure it includes appropriate information and features to assist and support consumers about decisions on their health care.”

He said the website was expected to incorporate MBS benefits and information about insurer gap payment arrangements, in addition to the doctor’s maximum fee and the most common out-of-pocket costs for a treatment.

He said it was expected to be ready by the end of 2019.

In the meantime the 16-page AMA guide can be accessed at this PS News link.

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