The Australian Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons (ASOS) has called on the Federal Government to abolish the practice whereby health funds are permitted to pay lower rebates to patients (who are health fund members) who choose doctors who are not part of a health fund preferred provider scheme.

The practice known as the differential rebate scheme adds to patient’s out-of-pocket by allowing health funds to pay lower rebates to health fund members for the same service.

The Senate rightly called for the abolition of this discriminatory scheme.

“The committee recommends that the Commonwealth Government amend relevant legislation to prohibit the current practice of differential rebates for the same treatments provided under the same product in the same jurisdiction.” [5.47 Recommendation 12, Senate Inquiry into Out-of-pocket costs 19/12/2017]

“The differential rebate scheme was introduced after lobbying from the Australian Health Insurance Association (now Private Healthcare Australia), the Government should act to implement the Senate’s recommendation immediately.” Chairman of the Australian Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Dr Kelly Macgroarty said in Brisbane today.

Dr Kelly Macgroarty
Chairman, ASOS