Guest: Cameron Fuller
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Cameron Fuller is the General Manager of NAB Health, a position he has held since April 2016. NAB Health, its MedFin and HICAPS businesses, comprise a team of 270 bankers providing banking services to over 30,000 healthcare customers across all modalities within the industry, including Aged Care, Hospitals, Pharmacy and Practitioners. NAB Health has been at the leading edge of banking and health innovation over the past 10 years, including more recently the launch of the HICAPS Go App, the dedicated nab health website and the introduction of electronic document signing in its MedFin business.
Segment Overview: In today’s interview, Cameron Fuller of NAB Health discusses about the HICAPS Go app which provides patients with a simple and transparent experience which gives them more visibility on their out of pocket expenses before they see their healthcare practitioner and facilitates a completely digital process to pay their bill. He also talks about the importance of helping businesses and professionals in the healthcare industry across the Australia.
Transcript – NAB Health
Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar and my guest today joins me from NAB Health, he is Cameron Fuller, General Manager at NAB Health. Cameron, welcome to the show.
Cameron Fuller: Yes, thank you Wayne. Thanks for having me on.
W: Look, our pleasure. Now Cameron in the health sector particularly, I’m kind of almost going to ask redundant question because I think everyone’s heard of NAB Health and knows what you do. But for those few people who may not, can you fill us in on what it is NAB Health does?
C: Yes. Well NAB Health, so we’re part of National Australia Bank and we’re the team within NAB that focuses on the health industry, with bankers dedicating themselves to serving practitioner, and aged care, and hospital, and pharmacy operators across the spectrum of health. So we have around 270 bankers. We have the brands of NAB Health but also HICAPS, the terminals that provide rebates from health funds, and Medfin, which does asset fit-outs for practitioners as well as commercial lending. These are sub brand of NAB.
W: Now I should declare a bit of bias on my part here Cameron, I’ve been subscribing to the NAB Health newsletter for a couple years because of working on this station, I keep an ear on what’s happening. I have to say it’s an extraordinarily well researched piece of information for a bank. It does come across with an excellent image of the health sector and you read it and think, ‘This must be written by health economists and low and behold, it’s the product of NAB.’
C: Thank you, we appreciate that great feedback. We do kind of differentiate ourselves through a deep understanding of the industry in which our clients operate and to do that, we do have to make sure that we understand what’s happening in the industry and how we can tie the solutions that we have to provide customers with help to optimize their business. Certainly a number of our bankers have worked in the health industry. I myself actually worked in the health industry back before I was a banker. For our client it is important that we actually do deeply understand the industry and hopefully you see that coming across through our communication channels.
W: I blatantly still I mean research from it all the time.
C: Well people can subscribe to that themselves if they’re interested they go on to nab.com.au/health so we’ve got that dedicated portal with the website. There’s a whole lot of content on the health industry and also importantly, if you are a practitioner out there wanting to start a practice or grow your practice or even sell your practice, there’s tips and advice on how to do that. Calculators and tools and a lot of rich content around that we do like to try and position ourselves as more than just a bank, a real trusted advisor to our customers to provide that level of content that’s asked.
W: And Cameron, I’d like to lead you on to talking about HICAPS Go and again, if lots of our audience were running their own clinics, I guess they would all know about it but a lot of our audience are in acute care and aged care and therefore, may not be heavily involved with HICAPS. Can you fill us in on what it is and then tell us about the HICAPS Go options?
C: Yes, sure. HICAPS is the health fund rebate system which for our listeners, if they’re private health insured when they go into their dental, or physio or chiro appointments and they swipe their healthcare card, they’ll get their rebate back from their private health insurer and then just pay the differential out-of-pocket through that terminal. NAB has taken that HICAPS terminal and put it into an app which you can download on your phone and the app is called ‘HICAPS Go’ and it uberizes of the whole experience, the payment but also upfront, actually enables a patient or a customer to search forward by geolocation or by a practitioner they know. Whether a practitioner has available appointment, it allows them to book, it goes directly into the practitioners management software. It shows up times that are available for the booking, allows the booking to be made. Then once the booking’s made, it can even notify the patient if the practitioners is running late which is pretty cool. People are really grateful of that. But also the time of booking, it will show to the patient what their out-of-pocket will be and what their health fund will rebate for that service. So it might be a dentist and they can actually search and see what their out of pocket will be, and do research on other dentists in the same suburb and see what it would be at that dentist. That will give a real sense from a consumer’s perspective, where we see a lot of healthcare being now consumer driven, a good understanding of what it’s going to cost them. As we all know, the healthcare payment system whether it’s in allied health, whether it’s in aged care, whether it’s in a disability or through the hospital system is clunky. So this is helping to uberize that and of course, once the appointment’s been held, you swipe to pay. There’s no pulling out of your pocket, a credit card or a private health insurance card, it’s all loaded in the system and you automatically pay. So it really takes a lot of the pain away not just booking, but transparency and also the payment.
W: But that does absolutely sound like it solves my two biggest problems as a consumer. The first is, is the practitioner running late? The second is what’s going to be the out-of-pocket? So it seems like it nails those two.
C: Yes absolutely, it does. We’re seeing this more and more across the healthcare spectrum. I’m sure your listeners are seeing this too, consumer-driven led demand. Consumers use of the internet, the digitization of the health care system and demanding more and wanting to have more knowledge around what things are going to cost, how they go about booking and also the ease of payment and reconciliation of that. And for the practitioner, they actually get the payment quicker and it goes straight into their practice management software so the reconciliation and paper works are all done.
W: It does sound like it’s a win all around.
C: Yes, we believe so. We’re very excited about the evolution and how we see the future particularly around payments within health. We are looking at how we do this for Medicare as well and also in NDIS and also into aged care and further evolutions of this as the bank is at the forefront of trying to digitized payments and make it easier for our customers to use digitization to help their businesses.
W: And Cameron, I know is it Medfin your practice finance arm, your fit-out finance arm? Through Medfin I know that you as an organization care pretty close eye on the kind of health of the industry if that’s the right word, the health of the health industry. Do you have a closing word about how health is going as an industry at present?
C: Health is going well and will continue. There is that underlying demand for health, its importance, the awareness is increasing, the technology on the healthcare side continues to increase. Regulation does play a big part and changes do occur from regulation, for example we’ve seen some changes recently in the private health insurers which on the whole are a positive. And there’s the Pharmacy industry that sees the next agreement for 2025. There’s always going to be that aspect which might put some bumps on the road particularly from the listener’s’ perspective at time but underlying health continues to go very well. Certainly, across all the industries that we bank and we’re very big agriculture bank, as well as resources, manufacturing, wholesale and retail ie generally in the business heartland of Australia, health is one of the small handful of industries that we really want to be in. We will help support it as a differentiator and grow because it is a dynamic and growing industry that we see a continued bright future.
W: It’s nice to hear a positive outlook on it. Cameron, thanks very much your time, I do appreciate you’re making yourself available.
C: You’ve very welcome. Thank you.
W: If you’ve just joined us on Health Professional Radio, then you’ve just missed a fascinating chat with Cameron Fuller. Now Cameron is the General Manager of NAB Health and they’re an organization that specializes in a whole range of health finances and in particular in the HICAPS space. But if you’ve missed our conversation, the good news is on our website we have a full transcript, that’s at hpr.fm and you can also hear the audio archive on iTunes, SoundCloud and YouTube. You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar.