IMPORTANT MESSAGE – PLEASE READ
Transition to Mixed Billing
To Our Valued Patients,
We would like to advise that as of 1st September 2022, Thirroul Medical Centre is transitioning to mixed billing.
This decision has not been taken lightly, but in order to continue being able provide services to the community rather than close our doors, we have had to make this change.
Unfortunately, staff wages, medical supplies, insurances and utilities have all increased in cost, whilst at the same time, the Government has sadly only increased the standard patient Medicare rebate by $4 over the last 9 years. For these reasons, it is financially unfeasible to continue to provide high quality medical services whilst remaining a fully bulk billing practice.
Out-of-pocket fees of $35 for a standard consult, and $50 for a long consult, and $70 for a extended consult will now apply, except for the following patient groups who will continue to be bulk billed:
Children under 16 years of age
Pension Concession Card holders
DVA Card Holders
Health Care Card Holders
Mental Health Care plans (where no other medical issues are discussed)
Chronic Disease Management Plans
Discounted fees are applicable for those over 70, and full time students under the age of 25. Please see table for details.
Home visits: charged at $200 (out of pocket costs), booked via discussion with GP (special arrangements)
Patients will be required to pay for their consultation, in full, on the day of their appointment. All telephone consultation fees are payable immediately upon conclusion of your consult.
Your Medicare rebate will be processed during payment, and will be back in your account within 24 hours, if not sooner (usually within the hour). A late-fee of $15 will be payable for late payment of fees > 72 hours (from the date of the consultation).
We have always prided ourselves on delivering a high level of patient care, and this change will allow us to remain open.
1. WHAT IS BULK BILLING?
Bulk billing means a patient does not have to pay for their medical service from a health professional, the doctor is paid the patient rebate directly from the government. For example, after a visit to your doctor, your doctor bills Medicare directly and accepts the Medicare benefit as full payment for their service. The Government sets the price paid to the GP for each consultation.
2. DO WE BULK BILL?
Yes, certain groups will be continue to bulk billed.
See list above.
3. WHY DON’T WE BULK BILL EVERYTHING?
The Government has frozen the Medicare rebate for many years. The Medicare rebate is not keeping up with inflation, so the rising costs of staff wages, medical supplies, insurance and utilities has meant that it has become increasingly hard to keep our Practice open.
As you know, we have been short staffed for a long time, and have been advertising for more than a year for locum and full time staff, without applicants coming forward, because GPs want to work in Practices that reward them adequately for patient care. Practices that mix bill are also more secure in terms of being a stable place of employment, as they have adequate cashflow to pay staff and costs etc without worrying about being able to stay open month to month.
The team at Thirroul Medical Centre would like to thank you for your understanding and look forward to offering you our excellent medical care for many years to come.
Fees are payable at the time of consultation by cash, credit card or EFTPOS.
Accounts can unfortunately not be given.
Our practice is equipped with TYRO and Medicare Online. These facilities allow the surgery to directly lodge your receipt for Medicare refunds, saving time for patients. Please ask receptionists for any information regarding these rebate options, as well as private fees.
Effective from 1st September 2022