(03) 9398 3711

125 Pier st, Altona. VIC 3018


Fees and Billing

PAYMENT FOR FIRST CONSULTATION

We request payment by cash or credit card (we don’t accept American Express) at the time of first consultation for all new patients to our practice.

REDUCED FEES FOR PENSIONERS, HEALTH CARE CARD HOLDERS & CHILDREN

We don't Bulk Bill, however we give Pensioners, HCC Holders & children under 16 years a 24% reduction for our most commonly charged fee, a 15 minute consultation. Such patients will be $24.20 out of pocket if paid at the time of consultation. Your Medicare rebate can be electronically placed into your bank account. Please ask our staff how this can be done.

MEDICARE/WORKCOVER/TRANSPORT ACCIDENT COMMISSION

We expect patients to take responsibility for their own accounts and therefore don't bill third parties such as Medicare, Workcover and TAC. In these situations after paying your account keep your receipt so that you can be reimbursed by the above third parties.

FEE STRUCTURE

A list of our common Fees is on our notice board and placed around the waiting room. A more comprehensive list is available on request from our front desk staff. Non paid accounts over 90 days are automatically referred to a debt collector.

ACCOUNT FEES

An account fee of $8.50 is added to the cost of the consultation for Private patients and $6.00 for Pensioners & HCC holders, if payment is not made at the time of consultation Prescription and Referral Charges - When ordering prescriptions and referrals, a minimum 5 working days' notice is required otherwise there is an $12.50 fee. If a prescription is posted to you account fees apply. There is no Medicare rebate for these charges. These fees can be avoided by making sure you have enough prescription repeats until your next consultation. Our doctors should prescribe enough repeats to cover you until your next consultation and if they don't you won't be charged. Our computer system records which GP wrote the prescription, when and how many repeats were organised as well as the time it took.

PRESCRIPTION AND REFERAL CHARGES

When ordering prescriptions and referrals, a minimum 5 working days’ notice is required otherwise there is an $12.50 fee. If a prescription is posted to you account fees apply. There is no Medicare rebate for these charges. These fees can be avoided by making sure you have enough prescription repeats until your next consultation. Our doctors should prescribe enough repeats to cover you until your next consultation and if they don't you won't be charged. Our computer system records which GP wrote the prescription, when and how many repeats were organised as well as the time it took.

EFTPOS

We have an EFTPOS facility which accepts most credit and debit cards (not American Express) but doesn't provide cash.

MISSED APPOINTMENTS

A charge equal to the cost of the missed appointment is made for patients who fail to give adequate notice. GST is payable on this fee.

WHY WE DON'T BULK BILL

We believe the minimum consultation time to allow us to practice quality medicine is 15 minutes for a familiar patient & 30-45 minutes for new patients. We believe bulk billing is incompatible with the practice of high quality medicine because it encourages high through put brief consultations for two reasons.

Medicare rebates are not indexed and don’t rise parallel to cost of living adjustments so are too low to allow 15 minutely bulk billed consultations and maintain profitability. The current fee for service schedule provides the same fee for a 5½ minute or 19½ minute consultation. Running costs (wages, equipment, rent, power, self education, insurance etc.) in general practice are of the order of 55% so bulk billing GPs need to see 6-8 patients/hour to maintain profitability.

Our gross takings would be higher if we bulk billed everyone and saw 6 patients per hour rather than the 4 patients per hour that we currently see.

FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES

If you are finding it difficult to pay our accounts please inform our staff (by letter or phone if you wish) or the doctor in the privacy of the consulting room. We would prefer to maintain our relationship with you and reduce your fee until your financial situation improves rather than lose you as our patient.