Cancer Council Australia

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Informed Financial Consent

Breast Cancer Network Australia, Cancer Council Australia, CanTeen and Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia propose a standard for informed financial consent as a key component of delivering quality care. The standard supports doctors and practices to engage in activities that enable greater transparency around fees charged to enable patients to better consider the likely financial impact to them.

  • Implementation pack for doctors - Cancer Council will work with doctors and practice staff to develop resources to assist in the implementation of the standard for informed financial consent.
  • Patient information flyer - A patient information flyer is being designed to accompany the standard for informed financial consent in consultation with Breast Cancer Network Australia and Consumer’s Health Forum consumer representatives.

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Financial burden of cancer care in Australia

Australians experience among the highest cancer survival outcomes in the world. The treatment of cancer can involve multiple healthcare providers, from a mix of public and private services, each attracting a different service fee. This can lead to confusion about who pays for what service and the extent of insurance coverage, leading to unexpected out-of-pocket costs. Out-of-pocket expenses account for the largest proportion of non-government funding on healthcare, and are highest for newly diagnosed cancer patients, and people with private health insurance. Additionally, people affected by cancer often report a reduction in employment and household income, and if left unaddressed, can lead to financial hardship, the effects of which are experienced most by people of lowest socioeconomic status. This can lead patients to choose inferior cancer treatment or forego treatment completely. Modifying clinically effective cancer treatment regimens can lead to risky, unsafe or ineffective, or suboptimal choices and poor clinical outcomes.

Improved transparency about treatment options, charges and expected out-of-pocket costs can enable patients to be more engaged in conversations about their options with their doctors.

This page was last updated on: Friday, December 20, 2019

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