Hicaps vs Healthpoint

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Hicaps vs Healthpoint

HICAPS vs HealthPoint

Last Updated: 17th March 2020.

Back in 2016, I wrote my first HICAPS vs HealthPoint comparison and to be honest it’s been one of the most popular pages on my website by far. I do hope that it helped a lot of people over the last 4 years however much of the information has changed since I first wrote that article.

What remains the same however is that there are still two ways of providing live private health fund rebates and estimates at the point of sale:

  1. Hicaps
  2. Healthpoint

Both of these options have advantages and disadvantages, that is the topic of this post. (Update: there is much less difference between them these days. Many of the disadvantages that I previously discussed about HICAPS have been fixed)

HICAPS

Summary

Hicaps is the oldest, probably most trusted solution. You will have seen hicaps terminals at many health practices in your travels. Physiotherapists, chiropractors, remedial massage therapists etc. are all using them. It uses that National Australia Bank for the optional (though free of charge) EFTPOS functionality.

Advantages

  1. You can have seperate EFTPOS settlement arrangements for associates/partners
  2. Less training – Many receptionists and practitioners are already familiar with how it works
  3. Marketable – The brand is well known so when you display it in store or online people know it means they can claim easily with you

Disadvantages

  1. Transaction processing may be slower than other options.

Update: HICAPS has made several improvements to their product offering in recent years. You can now process claims without a phone line. They also offer a mobile terminal that connects using 3G to process claims.

Healthpoint

Summary

Healthpoint is less well known probably because the brand is never really shown or promoted directly and you can use one of four merchant providers to receive the claim amount and settle EFTPOS. 

Advantages

  1. Choice of Merchant Provider – Suncorp, ANZ or Tyro (update:Commonwealth will no longer support HealthPoint claims from the 1st of April 2020).
  2. Faster technology available – Tryo can process a claim in as little as 3 seconds
  3. Some banks will waive the fees for a business transaction account for you

Disadvantages

  1. The brand is not well known
  2. You need a broadband connection (I have detailed the cheapest way to do this without a landline below)
  3. You may not have the option of settling funds to multiple practitioner accounts (Depending on your merchant provider)
  4. Options such as Tyro require you to use specific practice management software which can be expensive and you may not want to use it
  5. Can not process private health claims for HCF members (for Remedial Massage)

Basic Cost Comparison

My cost comparison is based on setting up a wireless broadband connect for using both HICAPS and HealthPoint. If you already have a hard wired broadband connection then you won’t need to do that. You can just plug the terminal straight into an ethernet port and avoid the cost of setting that up.

HICAPS

3G/4G Modem Router: ~$100. Less second hand. (must have at least one Ethernet port)

Mobile Broadband Dongle: $19

Terminal Rental $40 = Minimum $40 / month

Bank fees: ~ $10 / month for a business transaction account

Total Setup: $119

 

Total Monthly: $40 (+ a cost per transaction)

Healthpoint

3G/4G Modem Router: ~$100. Less second hand. (must have at least one Ethernet port)

Mobile Broadband Dongle: $19

Mobile Broadband Prepaid credit $10 / month + Terminal Rental ($30-$60) = Minimum $40 – $70 / month

Bank fees: $0 waived

Total Setup: ~$119

 

Total Monthly: $40 – $70 (+ Banking charges based on the amount of funds you process in the month)

Conclusion

Since I first wrote this article back in 2016 much has changed in this comparison. There is much less difference between the two options now with HICAPS now allowing claims to be made both through broadband and with their mobile terminal.

It is still the case that HealthPoint can be faster when combined with a Tyro terminal (that’s more about the Tyro terminal than it is about HealthPoint) however to set-up Healthpoint up in this way requires that you have practice management software and that you have some technical expertise.

For many people, installing HICAPS will be easier and more straightforward. If you already have an active phone line in place then Hicaps is a good option.

Initially I opted for using Healthpoint with the Commonwealth bank as back in 2016 you had to have a land line to use HICAPS however in 2020 the provider of Commonwealth terminals is removing HealthPoint support and so I have decided to move over to HICAPS. Another advantage of moving to HICAPS will be that I can process HCF claims for Remedial Massage which isn’t currently supported on HealthPoint and according to them won’t be supported for at least another few years.

If you want to setup HICAPS or HealthPoint without using a landline then please read my other article ‘Setting up Healthpoint without using a Phone Line

* Prices were current at time of writing but are subject to change. Please seek official pricing from your provider.

# I am NOT professionally or officially affiliated with any brands or products mentioned.

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Remedial Massage Therapist

Oak McIlwain is a Remedial Massage Therapist from Fremantle, Western Australia. He has been refining his massage skills for over 7 years after his corporate exodus. You can read his Bio or find him on or Facebook

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14 Responses

    • Oak McIlwain

      Hi Satomi,

      The $119 inclues a second hand 3g/4g modem router and a mobile broadband dongle. The other costs are monthly (i.e. the mobile broadband credit and terminal rental)

      Cheers,
      Oak.

  1. Marianna

    Hi just want to le you know that I have been with hicaps since it started and I have re negotiated my hicaps charges on the terminals and also the fees the bank charges and they were really good in discussing these fees and they reduced my charges on my terminal plus the bank fees its always good to have a little chat about these things and let them know of the issue of the charges.

  2. aaron driver

    They also offer a mobile terminal that connects using 3G to process claims.

    I would like to know more about this as I am a mobile service, can I claim heath fund rebates when seeing patients at their homes.

  3. Astrid

    Hi, as I am working part time as an allied health provisional and in different capacities not many clients can be rebated thus the use of a terminal for direct rebates would be minimal. Do you still believe that is worth it from a customer point of view or can clients be requested to simply claim their rebates as we all used to? Thank you for your advice.

    • Oak McIlwain

      Hi Astrid, it really depends on what percentage of clients want to claim. If it was less than 20% then I may not bother however it’s important to keep in mind that you can use the ability to process claims on the spot as part of your marketing message which may attract new clientele.

    • Oak McIlwain

      Hi Ryan,

      Apologies for the delayed response.

      The only issues I can see with the hicaps mobile terminal are

      1) That some health funds are not supported while the terminal is off the docking station.

      2) That you can still only process claims for locations where you have a registered provider number. In HICAPS words:

      “Mobile Terminal claims must only be processed at registered practice locations for which you have a location specific provider number. Please ensure that you use the provider number specific to the location at which the treatment has been provided and the HICAPS claim is processed.”

      That kind of seems to defeat the pupose of having a mobile terminal but best to chat with HICAPS themselves to find out more.

      Hope that helps,
      Oak.

  4. Veronica Palmer

    I’ve been using HealthPoint with Suncorp since 2004. I recently relocated from QLD to regional WA and as part of setting up my Business in the new location I looked again at Hicaps v HealthPoint (as I’ve done a number of times over the years), I’ve still opted for HealthPoint through Suncorp. I’ve never had an issues with HealthPoint, and the rates with Suncorp are better than, Hicaps or Tyro and I’ve always been able to negotiate fees with Suncorp. So happy to stay with HealthPoint. Setting up has also been a simple affair.

    • Oak McIlwain

      Thanks for your input Veronica. Healthpoint seems to be a good choice for you 🙂 Personally, I’m looking forward to health fund claims being able to be done entirely digitally at the press of a button on the computer screen.

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