New guide for comparison of medical procedure costs
A NEW guide designed to help patients understand medical treatment fees and out of pocket costs will go online soon.
The AMA's Informed Financial Consent Guide; A Collaboration Between Doctors and Patients aims to aid Australians when faced with making decisions around medical treatments.
It will provide an estimate of fees and the costs payable by a patient after any Government and health insurer rebates. The content is being provided voluntarily by doctors and specialists.
The Federal Government website is being developed in consultation with consumers, medical professionals and insurers to make sure it includes appropriate information and features to assist and support consumers about decisions on their health care.
It is 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.
The website is expected to go live by the end of 2019.
An alternative and independent cost comparison website, mydrbill.com.au, has already gone live. It has been set up by two retired doctors - Katherine McGrath and Stephen Clarke.
The website lists out-of-pocket expenses for about 90 procedures.
It focuses on fees specialist doctors charge for surgical or medical procedures and maternity care. "The aim is to for patients to give de-identified information about their own out of pocket costs to help other patients choose wisely," the website states. "We provide advice about how to assess costs before you choose a specialist."
MyDrBill does'nt cover emergency care, care outside of hospitals or care involving chronic conditions such as dialysis, transplants or chemotherapy.