Our Billing Explained
We are a private billing medical practice and appreciate full payment of fees on the day of consultation. We use Medicare online and Hicaps so the Medicare rebate can be immediately refunded to your bank account.
1. What is bulk billing?
Bulk billing means that the doctor is paid directly by Medicare, on behalf of the patient. This means that the amount paid for each medical service is the amount set by the Australian Government. Note that some consultations such as occupational health and Workcover consultations are not covered at all by Medicare and need to be paid for privately.
2. Do you bulk bill?
Each practitioner decides their own fees but some services are always bulk billed such as care plans and Government funded health assessments.
3 . Why don’t you bulk bill everything?
Unfortunately the amount set by the Government for a consultation is insufficient to cover the costs of providing a high quality medical service. For example the Medicare rebate for a Level B consultation is $37.05. The government pays this for a complex consultation lasting up to 20 minutes. Even if our doctors see a patient every 15 minutes, then Medicare fees for the doctor would be $148.20 per hour. After practice costs, including room rental, facilities, staff and amenities, superannuation contributions and income tax the doctor might earn a nett amount of just $50 per hour.
We value our doctors and think they are worth more than the small value the Government puts on their service!
We want to attract and maintain the very best General Practitioners and maintain a very high quality service.
At the same time having lived as students for many years our doctors well understand financial difficulty and have the discretion to reduce fees when there is a bona fide financial need.
4. Why would I choose to pay a private fee rather than go to a bulk billing clinic?
Because of the low value the Australian Government places on primary care and General Practitioners as discussed above, bulk billing clinics often need to see more patients in an hour, and often need patients to come back to get test results and may not be able to spend as much time addressing your medical needs. At Castle Hill Medical Centre we value your time as much as ours! We aim to keep waiting times to a minimum, we offer same day appointments, online bookings, e Scripts, we have an excellent recall and test result notification system so our patients do not need to return for follow up appointments unless medically necessary and our excellent staff and service philosophy ensure your experience is as pleasant as possible.
We are a private billing clinic, meaning all consultations are time-based and attract a fee. Fees are payable at the time of consultation by cash, credit card or EFTPOS. Accounts are unfortunately not able to be given. The AMA fee structure forms the basis of our billing policy and our doctors charge the fees that reflect the time taken and degree of complexity in each consultation.
Our practice is equipped with TYRO and Medicare On-Line. These facilities allow the surgery to directly lodge your receipt for Medicare refunds, saving time for patients. Please ask our reception members for any information regarding these rebate options, as well as private fees.