COVID ‘bump’ on the way?

COVID ‘bump’ on the way?

The top procedures searched by GPs, health fund members and the effect of COVID

Procedure out-of-pocket cost information is the most valued data to patients1, but what about the deeper insight and opportunities it can provide health funds?


While COVID has disrupted many regular seasonal trends, we’ve taken a look at procedure search trends across the Top 12 procedures searched by GPs and health fund members between February through October 2020 through the HealthShare platform.

Orthopaedic procedures of Hip Replacement, Knee Replacement and Knee Arthroscopy collectively trend around 15% of procedure out-of-cost selections. With COVID restrictions on elective surgery, Orthopaedics search fell to 10.5% in April, due to a 61% drop in Orthopaedic search volume.

Against Orhtopaedic, Obesity surgery (not lap banding), Colonoscopy and Gastroscopy procedures moved inversely in terms of percentage of procedure selection between February and June.

A bump in Childbirth procedure search

Childbirth, Vaginal and Caesarean, are generally stable around 10% of procedure search. However, in April this spiked to almost 20%, not only due to reduced search for other procedures, as this was accompanied by a 40% increase in Childbirth search volume.

Will the new year see an April ‘bump’ materialise into more childbirth claims?

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Reaching the right members, earlier

Apart from the better member experience and deeper visibility into member search that procedure level out-of-pocket information provides, there are other opportunities to benefit health insurers and members.

For example, what do you want members to know when they are searching for Knee Replacement? Do you offer evidence-based programs which can prevent or reduce the cost of surgery? Do you offer other member benefits or arrangements within selected specialists?

HealthShare can deliver targeted information to support GP and member referral pathway decisions.

Further Information and Enquiries

Ben Johnston

Manager, PHI Solutions

0406 316 607

1. Source: HealthShare Patient Survey (n=1,019) – What is most important when choosing a specialist?

2. Procedure groupings represent the Top 12 procedures selected by GPs and health fund members between February 2020 and October 2020 and listed below.

  • Childbirth: Vaginal, Caesarean
  • Gastro/Bowel: Obesity, Not Lap Banding, Colonoscopy, Gastroscopy
  • Orthopaedic: Hip Replacement, Knee Replacement, Knee Arthroscopy
  • Other: Spinal Nerve Decompression, Cataract Removal & Lens Replacement, Hysteroscopy, Cystoscopy