After three years in the planning Newcastle-based health fund nib has launched an online rating website for ancillary healthcare providers.

www.whitecoat.com.au will allow people to find and compare healthcare specialists in their area.

Contact details for about 30,000 providers, such as optometrists, dentists, and physiotherapists, will be available on the website.

Group manager Rhod McKensey says the website will display comments from nib customers and cost comparisons.

"Every time that an nib customer visits an extras provider, and we pay a claim, we send the customer an email and ask them to give us their feedback on their experience," he said.

"That feedback is put through a robust moderation process, but about 85 per cent of the comments end up on the Whitecoat website.

"The comparative costs score information is calculated from all of the claims that we pay for extras providers."

Mr McKensey says people can be assured recommendations and comments on the website are genuine.

"Unlike Trip Advisor, which has suffered from some criticism, where any member of the public can go to Trip Advisor and make a comment about a restaurant or a hotel, whether or not they've actually been to that hotel," he said.

"The mechanism that we use to collect feedback around providers is a closed mechanism, that relies on customer visiting that provider and making a claim with us.

"We think that's one of the strengths of the site."

 

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