Palmers Medical Centre Practice Fee – effective 1st July 2022

Palmers Medical Centre will be private billing patients for GP consultations from 1st July 2022. This is due to substantial increase in cost for running the practice and constraints on our resources while Medicare rebate has barely increased in the past 10 years. E.g. for a standard consultation MBS Item 23, Medicare rebate in 2012 was $36.30 and now in June 2022 it is $39.10, an increase of $2.80 in 10 years or a overall increase of 7% in 10 years. This leaves General Practitioners in no choice but to move away from bulk billing.

Fee FAQs are below

Summary of changes from 1st July 2022

  • During regular business hours the patients will pay $69.75 upfront and we can process a Medicare rebate of $39.75, i.e. there will be an out of pocket gap fee of $30
  • During afterhours (i.e. after 8pm on week days, after 1pm on Saturday, all day Sunday & Public holiday) the patients will pay $91.80 upfront and we can process a Medicare rebate of $51.80 i.e. there will be an out of pocket gap fee of $40
  • Kids 15 and under during regular hours will pay $54.75 upfront and we can process a Medicare rebate of $39.75, i.e. pay of gap $15.
  • Kids 15 and under afterhours will pay $71.80 upfront and we can process a Medicare rebate of $51.80, i.e. pay of gap $20.
  • Patients on concession cards will be bulk billed during regular business hours.
  • Patients on concession cards for afterhours visits will pay $71.80 upfront and we can process a Medicare rebate of $51.80, i.e. pay of gap $20.
  • All patients are expected to settle their account on the day. Accounts not settled on the day will incur an admin charge of $10.
  • WALK-IN Patients & Emergencies – There will be an out of pocket fee of $40 at all times
  • New WorkCover Patients – There will be an out of pocket fee of $40 at all times. Patient to pay and get worksafe standard fee re-imbursed from the employer/insurance agency. Existing workcover patients payment arrangement will continue as-is.
  • Bulk billing available for following services
    • Some vaccinations when completed within a vaccine clinic, e.g. COVID and Flu vaccines.
    • Health Assessments and some Care Plans
  • Patients without Medicare card will be charged the full fee and they are to claim their rebate directly from their private insurance.
  • There will be out of pocket costs for afterhours telehealth, procedures, wound dressings etc. Please refer to our website – fee section for full details on our fee.
  • No show / Late cancel fee (cancelled under 2 hours from appointment time) will be $30 for regular hours, $40 for afterhours for standard appointments and $60 for long appointments.
  • PAYMENT OPTIONS – Payments can be made by credit cards (Visa/Mastercard only), EFTPOS Card or Apple Pay. Medicare claims are sent for processing online.
  • Tyro Medicare Easyclaim is available. Medicare patients, when paying your account in full, this allows an instant refund of the Medicare/ government rebate from Medicare to your Cheque or Savings account using our integrated EFTPOS machine. You will need to bring your debit card linked to savings or cheque account.

Thank you for your continued support to help us provide General Practice services.

OTHER FEE

Driving Medicals – TAXI / UBER :

  • Private Fee – Regular Hours = $132.00 (inc GST)
  • Private Fee – After Hours = $165.00 (inc GST)

Driving Medicals – TRUCK / BUS / COMMERCIAL :

  • Private Fee – Regular Hours = $198.00 (inc GST)
  • Private Fee – After Hours = $242.00 (inc GST)

Medical Clearance for Employment

  • Private Fee – Regular/After Hours = $165.00 (incl. GST)

Pre-Employment Medicals:

  • Private Fee – Regular Hours = $150.00 –  $350.00 +GST (fee determined based on work, please email details and forms to info@palmersmedical.com.au)

Procedure Charges:

All patients must pay the full fee on the day and claim Medicare rebate as advised by the doctor / front desk team. Most procedure below have medicare rebates, please confirm with the staff member or doctor for exact rebate that you will get.

  • Iron Infusions – $200 (all patients must see the doctor first to discuss the procedure and must see the same doctor to complete their procedure)
  • Skin Biopsies / Excisions $150 – $300 (the fee will depend on the complexity and time taken to complete, as confirmed by the doctor. All patients must see the doctor first to discuss the procedure and must see the same doctor to complete their procedure)
  • Wedge resection – $400 (all patients must see the doctor first to discuss the procedure and must see the same doctor to complete their procedure)
  • Implanon Removal – $120 ( Medicare rebate $53.75)
  • Implanon Insertion – $90 ( Medicare rebate $31.50)
  • IUD / Mirena Removal – $106.95 ( Medicare rebate $76.95)

Dressing Charges

  • Depending on the complexity of dressings done, there may be an out of pocket fee of $20 for some dressings.

Telehealth/Telephone consult for patients who are not eligible for it

  • As per the standard appointment fee – $69.75 – NO MEDICARE Rebate can be claimed.

Paperwork / Document certification / Citizenship paperwork etc

  • Regular Hours $40
  • After Hours $60

Late Cancellation (within 2 hours) / Did Not Attend Fee for GPs / Allied Health / Specialists Appointments:

  • Standard Consultation – Regular Hours : $30
  • Standard Consultation – After Hours : $40
  • Long Consultation: $60
  •  

Transfer of Medical Records:

  • Standard File : $20
  • Large File : $30

FEE FAQs

Why now, after so many years of bulk billing are you changing to private billing?

  • We have been bulk billing at Truganina centre for past 8+ years though Medicare rebates have not increased as per cost of living or even CPI hoping that they would go up one day to be same but they haven’t and with recent increases in cost of living, which inturns increased our practice running costs, in some areas as much as 80% increase we are left with no choice but to move to private billing. As an example, for a standard consultation MBS Item 23, Medicare rebate in Dec 2012 was $35.60 and now in June 2022 it is $39.10, an increase of $2.80 in 10 years or a overall increase of 7% in 10 years.
  • When we bulk bill we are effectively taking a 50% discount from the AMA advised rate. This is no longer sustainable .
  • Please feel free to contact our local members of parliament to lobby for appropriate primary care funding to ensure we can maintain quality care at an affordable price for the community we care deeply about.

Isn’t your centre funded by government? Don’t Medicare pay for all your costs?

  • No, we are not funded directly by government or Medicare. We are a private business like most other small businesses. Our majority of income come from fee paid by the patient for their visit to see the GPs.

What other costs do doctors or centre have? Isn’t the Medicare rebate enough?

  • We are a private business like most other small businesses and have similar costs including rent, staff wages, power bill, telephone bills, IT, medical supplies, office/IT supplies, cleaning etc. Medicare rebate has only increased by 7% overall in last 10 years. How much did other costs of businesses or everything that you know went up in last 10 years?

But I cannot afford the fee?

  • The doctors are happy to bulk bill patients with any of their current valid concession cards for consultations during week days from 8am to 6pm.
  • Consultations after 8pm on week days, after 1pm Saturday and all day Sunday and public holidays will have a gap fee.

Can I pay just the gap fee?

  • No, you have to pay the full fee on the day. We can process the medicare refund (if you have a medicare card) immediately into a cheque/saving account debit card if you have one, using tyro easyclaim.
  • If you do have a debit card linked to your savings or cheque account we can process the medicare rebate to be paid into the bank account linked to your medicare card in the Medicare system.
  • If your bank account is not linked, we will give you the payment reciept that you can use to claim the rebate back from Medicare, online using their app or by visiting their office.

What are my payment options?

  • You can pay using credit/debit card, eftpos card or apple pay.

How do I get my Medicare Rebate back?

  • If you have registered your bank account details with Medicare, our system allows us to process your rebate (refund) to your account as soon as possible. Please ask our friendly staff for more details.

Our kids get sick more often, can you charge a reduced fee?

  • Yes, the doctors are happy to charge only 50% of gap fee for kids 15 and under.

I need a longer appointment, do I need to pay more gap fee?

  • No, the doctors are happy to charge the same gap fee irrespective of standard or long appointment.  So if you have more than 1 health issue, have complex medical issues, or require a Mental Health Consultation or Plan we recommend arranging a double appointment.

Do I have to pay the gap for short visits too?

  • There are some exceptions, e.g. the following visits can be bulk billed
    • Some vaccine appointments -e.g. flu vaccines, COVID vaccines, childhood vaccinations with no other consultation at the same time.
    • Repeat scripts – as discussed with your regular doctor.
    • Health assessment and some care plans.

What is the gap fee if I come as a walk-in patient?

  • Walk-in patients are charged a gap fee of $40 at all times, irrespective of age or whether you have concession cards.

Can we claim the gap back from our private insurance if we have one?

  • As far as we are aware private insurance doesn’t cover the gap fee for general practice visits. But please check with your insurance by quoting gap fee for MBS Items 23 or 5020 which are standard visit item numbers charged by general practitioners.

Is it allowed for General Practice to charge a gap for GP visits?

Are there any other practices doing it?

From what we know there are many practice in our area and right across the country who are converting to private billing as bulk billing is not viable anymore for most. Please see these recent news articles:

Can I talk to someone about it as I have other questions?

Yes, please email your details to info@palmersmedical.com.au and one of our staff will call you to discuss further

* Please note that our fee are subject to change without prior notice.