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    Power to the patients – more information on specialists and potential out-of-pocket costs

    Medibank has launched its upgraded Find A Provider tool online, providing consumers with access to more specific information about the potential out-of-pocket costs doctors may charge.

    Since August 2018, Find A Provider has shown how often a specialist charges an out-of-pocket (by percentage of claims), but now includes this information for the most common hospital procedures too, meaning customers can see if they’re likely to have an out-of-pocket charge for a certain type of procedure from their doctor.

    Chief Customer Officer David Koczkar said Medibank’s customers often asked for this type of information.

    “We’re listening to our customers, so we’ve upgraded Find A Provider to make the potential out-of-pocket costs freely available so people can make an informed choice,” Mr Koczkar said.

    “It’s a reasonable expectation to be able to access this type of information, so we’re putting the power back in patients’ hands.

    “We are the first health insurer to make this level of information available to customers on our own website. We know customers want more information about the hospitals and doctors near them, so we’ve been progressively upgrading our online tools like Find a Provider, Procedure Cost Estimator and Hospital Experience Scores.

    “Data from more than 500,000 hospital admissions each year helps to support the information on Find A Provider, and although it’s most relevant to those with a Medibank hospital policy, any consumer can access this information.”

    When Medibank customers want to check out the options for specialists in their area, using Find A Provider can give them greater insight into whether the doctor charges an out-of-pocket. Previously, people could check how often a doctor charged an out-of-pocket, but now they can also see this information for the most common procedure types.

    This means people can get a better idea if there’s likely to be an out-of-pocket before they go to their first specialist appointment, although it’s best to still have this discussion with your doctor directly.

    “Australians need greater transparency on what their healthcare experience will be like and what it will cost. We’re working hard to make private healthcare more affordable, easier to use, and provide greater value,” Mr Koczkar said.

    “There are some key questions you should ask your GP, specialist and hospital along the way if you’re preparing for surgery, and Medibank is here to support you with further information about how to get the best value from your health insurance.”

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