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Home » News and Research » 2019 » April » Specialist fees website aimed to end bill shock

Specialist fees website aimed to end bill shock

The significant financial burden on families or individuals living with genetic and rare conditions and often times medical disability (even those with health insurance) is well documented and widely discussed. Rising treatment costs and the lack of equity of access, particularly for the rural and regionally based is placing increasing pressure on consumer and their ability to manage all aspects of their lives - from household costs and living expenses, to necessities like food and accommodation and primary and secondary costs to health and 'specialised' care/service and health insurance.

The unexpected and unanticipated costs associated to health care can oftentimes be attributable to the lack of information and clarity on 'actual costs' attached to private medical services, particularly specialist and consultant appointments.  'Bill shock' is almost common place for those interacting constantly and frequently with the private health system, but is it acceptable and should we continue to tolerate it?

The recent announcement of a dedicated website purpose built to provide clarity and transparency on private medical charging practices in Australia is a start to addressing the issue of the cost burden for specialist services.  It will provide information key to decision making and respects the right of the consumer to understand cost and fee structures in a competitive market.

'It is timely that charges passed on to consumers by private medical services are adequately communicated and that there be a greater understanding of fee structures that are above the 'Medicare Schedule Fees - we need to understand how and why we pay the gap and that the amount is discretionary to the provider'.

Louisa Di Pietro GSNV Education and Advocacy Strategist


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