Announcement of changes to our billing policy
From 1st November 2022, we are no longer able to bulk bill.
Making this change was a very difficult decision for the practice, and we understand some patients may feel surprised and worried about paying private fees for their GP visit.
What do the changes mean?
Your future consultations with GPs at the practice will be privately billed. These changes apply to face to face and telehealth consultations. Pension and health care card holders will pay a reduced rate.
Why are we making these changes?
Keeping the business viable so that we can continue to serve the community and avoid closure, a true risk many practices face, is at the core of this change. Quality care is no longer sustainable based on bulk-billing. In the past, our GPs have chosen not to charge everyone the private fee. If you were previously bulk billed, you agreed for Medicare to pay your rebate directly to the practice for a consultation. Unfortunately, the Medicare rebate does not cover the actual costs of providing care, and with rising expenses (staff wages, equipment, utilities, insurances, rent etc) the difference is now too large for the GP and practice to absorb. Our doctors are left with little choice than to charge private fees.
Do all patients pay the private fee?
Most patients will now pay the private fee for their consultation, with a few exceptions:
- Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) patients
- Children under 6
- Scheduled health assessments and care plans
Have other GP practices made these changes?
Yes, the majority of local and national practices are moving away from bulk-billing to private billing and therefore charge their patients a private fee for consultations.
Fees from 1st November 2022
|Consult||Private Fee||Medicare rebate||Gap||
& Health care card
- Full payment is required at the time of consultation, using our eftpos machine your rebate will be put back immediately into your bank account.
- Please note: Telephone/ video consults incur the same fees as in person consultations.
- A non-attendance fee of $30.00 will be charged prior to rebooking your appointment if patients fail to provide a minimum of 1 hour notice for cancelled appointments
if you are facing severe financial hardship, we encourage you to discuss this with your GP.
Thank you, The Doctors and staff at Whitsunday Doctors Service
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