Well the biggest change has been the change of heart by HBF. This has occured due to economic pressures (HBF has suffered a huge loss in market share), a realisation that what they have been doing for years is not working (cost blow outs) and by their anticipation of government changes that will likely force all the health funds to change the way they are doing things.
The result for the patients of our clinic is good in that by HBF discontinuing their "preferred provider" scheme, where HBF would heavily encourage their clients to go to the dentist that HBF felt they were in control of via onerous corporate contracts, now HBF are encouraging their clients to seek out their dentist by being sensitive to their public reputation. This suits us as our clinic's reputation is outstanding. HBF has been clear in declaring that all their clients will receive the same rebate no matter which dentist is providing the service whether a contract signer or a non contracted dentist). As we have been most opposed to signing any contract with any health fund, on moral grounds, this new HBF change will benefit our patients. We can only hope now that the other health funds will follow HBF's lead. We will not "hold our breath" waiting for this, as some of the bigger interstate and Australia wide funds are far more aggressive in their corporate style tactics. Even when they say "not for profit" don't be fooled. Profit is very, very important to all these funds and their corporate style fund managers.