Helping doctors reduce out-of-pocket expenses for patients


Doctors across Australia now have access to a new medical directory tool to help minimise out-of-pocket costs for patients with Bupa health insurance.

To help doctors efficiently find suitable medical specialists and hospitals when referring their patients, Bupa has worked with digital health platform HealthShare to create an easy-to-use directory that aggregates information including if a hospital is part of Bupa's network or if a specialist participates in Bupa’s Medical Gap Scheme. 

With more than three million Bupa members holding hospital cover, Bupa's General Manager, Health and Medical Operations Dr Tony MacDermott, said the directory was a quick and simple tool for GPs to use during their referral process. 

We know the pressures GPs are under and the critical role they play in the referral process for patients. This tool aims to save doctors’ precious time, while supporting their referral decisions.

Bupa's General Manager, Health and Medical Operations Dr Tony MacDermott

The directory allows doctors to search for private practising specialists based on their location, speciality or name, and also includes their areas of interest, qualifications, languages spoken and hospital affiliations. Hospitals can also be searched by location or name and filtered by Bupa network status. 

“Doctors can now easily see what hospitals the specialists work in, and whether these hospitals are part of Bupa’s network. Accessible and affordable healthcare has never been more important given the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and significant cost-of-living pressures right now,” Dr MacDermott said. 

“The digital database is a great tool to help reduce out-of-pocket hospital costs for patients by referring them to specialists who practice in Bupa network hospitals. Medical costs may also be reduced if these specialists participate in our Medical Gap Scheme. 

“It’s one way we can support doctors and their patients to make informed decisions while helping to keep out-of-pocket expenses low at a time when household budgets are under strain.” 

Bupa has outlined five simple steps to help minimise out-of-pocket costs for patients: 

1. Go to www.bupa.com.au/find-a-provider 
2. Select the Hospitals & Specialists tab 
3. Search by specialist name or type 
4. Check hospital affiliations (located in right hand column on desktop, or under locations tab on mobile) – patients will get greater value and benefits at Members First or Network Hospitals.
5. Encourage patients to also ask the specialist if they participate in Bupa’s Medical Gap Scheme. 

Bupa members are also encouraged to use the directory to ensure they’re getting the most value out of their hospital cover.