29 medical groups sign up to transparency in billing

22 Sep 2020

A further 12 new medical groups have joined with the AMA and 16 other leading medical organisations to sign up to a guide aimed at empowering patients with important information to understand medical costs.

Peak bodies representing paediatric surgeons to pathologists, ophthalmologists to oral and maxillofacial surgeons, and anaesthetists to sport and exercise physicians have signed up to the Informed Financial Consent: A Collaboration Between Doctors and Patients guide.

The guide gives patients confidence to discuss and question fees with their doctors before their treatment, lessening the chance of unexpected bills afterwards.

“Out-of-pocket medical bills are not the major cause of discontent for patients - unexpected gaps are the problem,” AMA President, Dr Omar Khorshid, said today.

“The Informed Financial Consent (IFC) guide gives people clear, easy-to-understand information to help them navigate the health system, and empowers them to ask the right questions of their doctors and practice managers.

“When we launched this guide in July last year, it was co-badged with14 medical groups. We now have 29 groups, showing that it has proven useful to doctors and patients alike.

“The fact that all these groups have agreed to partner on this guide and promote it to their members and patients sends a very strong signal that the whole medical profession is committed to greater transparency on fees and the cost of quality medical care and treatment.

“It is rare to see such a convergence of support for a single document, and demonstrates that the IFC guide is seen as a major step in building health financial literacy for patients.”

The new groups are:

  • Australasian Association of Nuclear Medicine Specialists (AANMS),
  • Australian and New Zealand Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (ANZAOMS),
  • Australian and New Zealand Association of Paediatric Surgeons (ANZAPS),
  • Australian and New Zealand Society for Vascular Surgery (ANZSVS),
  • Australian Society of Anaesthetists (ASA),
  • Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians (ASCEP),
  • Australian Society of Ophthalmologists (ASO),
  • Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery (ASOHNS),
  • Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ),
  • Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA),
  • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), and
  • Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA).

The AMA acknowledges the continuing partnership, co-badging, and cooperation in the development and promotion of this guide from:

  • Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD),
  • Australasian Sleep Association (ASA),
  • Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS),
  • Australian Doctors Federation (ADF),
  • Australian Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons (ASOS),
  • Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS),
  • Council of Procedural Specialists (COPS),
  • General Surgeons Australia (GSA),
  • Medical Surgical Assistants Society of Australia (MSA),
  • National Association of Practising Psychiatrists (NAPP),
  • National Association of Specialist Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (NASOG),
  • Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP),
  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS),
  • Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP),
  • Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ), and
  • Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand (USANZ).

The AMA and the 28 medical groups are promoting and disseminating the guide through their memberships. It is available from doctors, medical practices, the AMA website, and the websites of other medical organisations.

Informed Financial Consent: A Collaboration Between Doctors and Patients is available at https://ama.com.au/article/ama-informed-financial-consent

22 September 2020

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