MEDICAL: prepare for your next hospital visit using this helpful online tool.
MEDICAL: prepare for your next hospital visit using this helpful online tool.

Helpful hospital pre-entry tool to relieve bill shocks

HELP is at hand with navigating Australia's complex hospital system through HCF's newly launched online tool, Preparing for Hospital.

PFH has been developed based on its member hospital experiences.

Health care research reports that 41% of hospitalisations are for people over 65.

Hospital and recovery from major surgery can be a costly and stressful experience.

Many people don't enter the hospitalisation process with enough information about their surgery, recovery and how much they might pay.

What is PFH?

PFH is an online bank of easy-to-use resources to help people better understand some of the most common hospital procedures; from details of the procedure through to your potential out-of-pocket costs.

How can PFH help you?

PFH includes:

  • A range of the most common procedures including hip replacement, colonoscopy, cataract removal and skin tumour removal.
  • Detailed information on how procedures work, how to prepare, what to expect during admission, and what after-care is needed.
  • A cost indicator guide including a breakdown of key costs for a procedure in a private hospital, including the surgeon, pathology, anaesthetist and other specialists.
  • Patient experience videos detailing their experiences.

Other information a person can expect to find using the PFH tool includes:

  • Choosing the surgeon.
  • Treatment to consider before opting for surgery.
  • The results vs risk of surgery.
  • Questions to ask the surgeon and anaesthetist and other specialists.
  • 3D animations and videos explaining procedures.

What does this mean for your next surgery?

PFH breaks down the costs to show how much a person will pay, how much their health fund will cover, and how much is covered by Medicare.

It also provides a more detailed cost breakdown by surgeon, anaesthetist, other clinicians, specialist consultations and assistant surgeon.

For example, a knee replacement has an average total service cost of $28,615 with 88% paid by HCF and 9% paid by Medicare.

Therefore, people can expect to pay 15%, or $800 in out of pocket expenses, depending on the gap selection chosen.

Why did HCF create PFH?

"It's our responsibility as a health fund to ensure we are supporting Australians as best we can when they need to go to hospital," chief benefits officer Cindy Shay said.

"Knowledge is a powerful tool and we want to ensure people have a more complete picture of the costs associated with their medical and surgical procedures well before they go into hospital.

"Going into hospital for surgery can be a particularly vulnerable time for people - we hope to empower Australians to make informed decisions about their health even during such times."

For more information, go to

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