Why is your GP changing the billing policy at HMC?
Medicare is a public health insurance scheme. It provides rebates (support payments) to you when you access eligible health services, such as visiting your GP. In most cases, the rebate you receive does not cover the total cost of the health service provided by your doctor.
‘Bulk billing’ is when a doctor bills Medicare directly for the services provided to you, so you have no out-of-pocket expenses. If you are bulk billed, your doctor has accepted the rebate that Medicare pays for that particular service. Unfortunately, the Medicare rebate for GP consultations is less than 50% of the fee that has been recommended by our nation’s medical associations to run a sustainable, efficient general practice.
WHY DO WE CHARGE A FEE?
Our clinic has been providing quality health care to the Hurstbridge community for the last 45 years. There have been many challenges along the way, but none more challenging than the lack of funding for general practices by successive governments, particularly over the past decade. Our clinic has been absorbing this cost for many years, for the benefit of our patient. After careful considerations, we have concluded that this care model is no longer sustainable. General Practices across Australia have reached similar conclusions.
As such, from 1st September 2022 we will commence the process of charging a fee for all patients. This will allow us to maintain our high level of care for patients.
Pension and healthcare card holders are eligible for a discounted/reduced fee.
We hope that in future, Medicare will provide a higher rebate to our patients so that accessing healthcare will have lower out of pocket costs.
If you have concerns about the rising out-of-pocket cost for healthcare, please notify your local state and federal members.
What is Medicare Safety net?
Medicare Safety Nets can help to lower your out of pocket medical costs for out of hospital services.
If you need to see a doctor or get tests regularly, you could end up with high medical costs. Medicare Safety Nets can help to lower your out of pocket costs including:
- Seeing a doctor or specialist.
- Some tests and scans like blood tests and CT scans.
When you spend over a certain amount in a calendar year, Medicare will give you a higher amount back. Safety Nets are calculated each calendar year, 1 January to 31 December.
Keep in mind, your doctor’s visit or test will still cost the same.
If you’re enrolled in Medicare, you’re eligible for Medicare Safety Nets. If you’re part of a family or couple you can combine your costs by registering as a family.
Information on Medicare Safety Net including how to register and Threshold amounts can be found on https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/medicare-safety-nets
HMC Billing Fees will be:
Standards consult (less than 20 minutes)
rebate is $39.75
Complex consult (20 min- 40 mins)
rebate is $76.95
Prolonged consult (more than 40 mins)
rebate is $113.3
*Reduced fees applied for all Pensioners and health care card Holder from 1/9/2022
*Reduced fees will apply on all children aged 0-16 from 1/1/2023
* In order to be able to claim the rebate, a patient must hold a current & valid Medicare card.
Alternative payment arrangements can be made for patients suffering genuine financial hardships. If you have any questions regarding charges or payments, your Doctor or the Practice Manager is happy to address your concerns.