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30 Oct 2019

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand (USANZ) have this week partnered with the AMA and 13 other leading medical organisations to provide patients with more information about medical fees for their procedures.

RACS and USANZ have signed up to the Informed Financial Consent: A Collaboration Between Doctors and Patients guide, which was launched by Health Minister Greg Hunt and the AMA in July.

The guide empowers patients with important information to help them understand medical costs, and gives them confidence to discuss and question fees with their doctors.

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said the addition of RACS and USANZ as partners to promote the guide to their members and patients sends a very strong signal that the whole medical profession is committed to greater transparency on medical fees and the cost of quality medical care and treatment.

“The Informed Financial Consent (IFC) guide is a major step in building health financial literacy for patients,” Dr Bartone said.

“It provides people with clear, easy-to-understand information to help them navigate the health system.

“It will significantly help patients in their conversations with doctors and practice managers about fees for their medical procedures.

“The whole IFC process will provide information that will give patients and their families greater comfort and security as they go into surgery or treatment.

“Treatment should not be delayed or disrupted by any uncertainty or misinformation about the costs ahead. Informed financial consent allows patients to focus on the preparation for their procedure and make the best possible recovery.”

RACS President, Dr Tony Sparnon, said RACS has been active in this area and encourages other health providers to lend their support.

“The responsibility for fee transparency is a shared one between patients, medical practitioners, and private health insurers alike. Initiatives such as this will help improve the communication between patient and doctor regarding costs and fees relating to a procedure,” Dr Sparnon said.

USANZ President, Dr Stephen Mark, said USANZ supports transparency of medical costs and we believe no person should undergo financial distress to receive medical care.

“This guide provides patients a clearer picture by giving information to find out not just the surgeon's fee but also the health fund rebate,” Dr Mark said.

The Informed Financial Consent (IFC) guide includes:

  • an Informed Financial Consent Form for doctors and patients to use together;
  • information on fees and medical gaps; and
  • questions for patients to ask their doctors about costs.

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

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

The AMA and these groups will promote and disseminate the guide through their memberships.

It will be 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


30 October 2019

CONTACT:          AMA                        John Flannery            02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761

                            AMA                        Maria Hawthorne       02 6270 5478 / 0427 209 753

                            RACS                      Abderazzaq Noor      0429 028 933

                            USANZ                    Edwina Gatenby       0402 130 254


Published: 30 Oct 2019