Change to Fee Policy
Our Doctors have made the difficult but necessary decision to change our fee and billing structure. This is due to the significant increases in the cost of operating a medical practice over the last 10 years. Northwest Health is no longer able to bulk bill at the level it has in the past, remain viable and provide you with the level of care you deserve, and we want to provide.
In 2013, the federal government froze Medicare rebates for six years. After the freeze, Medicare rebate increases have remained well below the rate of inflation. We recognise that many of you would have noticed the increased cost of living, the rate of increase in the costs of running a medical practice is running significantly higher than inflation.
The chart below shows how Average Weekly Earnings and the CPI (rate of inflation) have risen compared to the Medicare rebates (Australian Society of General Practice publication) from 1985 to 2020:
You may also have heard the many recent reports in the media of the closure of many GP clinics due to increasing costs and resulting in bankruptcy or insolvency. We do not want to add our clinic to these statistics.
Please note that in most cases, if you have a debit card we can process your Medicare rebate for you with immediate refund, or if you have a bank account registered with Medicare, again we can process your rebate and you should receive this within 24 hours.
If you or your child have a current Commonwealth Concession Card, you will need to show it to reception, so details are recorded in your file.
The changes will take effect from Monday 31 October 2022
Bulk billing will continue for all patients for the following consultations:
• Vaccinations listed under the national Immunisation Program
• Medicare eligible Health assessments, Health Management Plans and Health Care Plans.
• DVA Gold Card
• DVA White Card for their nominated conditions
A Concession fee will apply to the following patients:
• Children 17 years and under
• Patients 18 and older with a Commonwealth Concession Card
• All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
• DVA White Card with a Commonwealth Concession Card for non-claimable conditions
The Practice fee will apply to the following patients:
• Patients 18 and older without a Commonwealth Concession Card
Other consultations, treatments and tests:
Fees will apply for patients who require:
• tests such ECGs, spirometry, 24 blood pressure monitoring
• care provided by the nurses such as wound care, ear syringe, non-vaccine injections and iron infusions
• procedures such as excisions, IUDs, Implants
• Midwifery care
Non-attendance/less than 4 hours’ notice
If you fail to attend your appointment or provide less than 4 hours’ notice without a reasonable explanation, a non-attendance fee of $55 (incl GST) will apply.
Patients with a chronic disease
All patients with a chronic disease, who have a GP Health Plan in place at our clinic, qualify for a bulkbilled appointment review each three months.
Telehealth appointment fees are the same fee as if you had attended the clinic.
The above fees apply.
We thank you for your understanding.
The team at Northwest Health