Cygnet Family Practice are making changes to the way we do business to provide more services to the community. Our exceptional patient care will continue however we are changing our fee structure to keep up with the increasing costs of running a small business.
The Australian Government pays a Medicare rebate, to provide patients with financial assistance towards the costs of their medical services. Medicare rebates do not, and were never intended to, cover the full cost of medical services.
The fee charged by a medical practitioner covers not only their own personal income, but also contributes in paying for the practice costs of running a medical practice. This includes the wages for the practice team and other running costs such as equipment, medical supplies, cleaning, rent, computers and insurance.
Cygnet Family Practice operates as a small business and just like hairdressers, plumbers, mechanics etc they need to cover their costs of being in business.
Since Medicare began (over 40 years ago), Government indexation of Medicare scheduled fees has not kept pace with real increases in practice costs. See the attached graph.
Cygnet Family Practice provides high quality patient care without compromise and as such we will be making changes to our billing policy and fee structure which means we will no longer be able to routinely bulk bill some patients and payment will be due on the day.
Occasionally, there may be some appointment types that can be bulk billed but this is at the discretion of the health practitioner and/or practice manager and will only apply to certain circumstances. Our fee structure is still well below the recommended Australian Medical Association’s (AMA) fees.
Routine bulk billing will still apply to the following patients:
- Patients holding a Pension Concession Card
- Children under 16 years of age
- DVA Gold Card Holders
- DVA White Card Holders (Specific conditions)
If you do not fall into these categories, what does this mean for you?
- There will be a difference between the amount the practitioner charges and the Medicare rebate.
- If you are a Health Care Card holder or student you will be eligible for a ‘discounted fee’.
- Payment for a consultation will need to be paid in full on the day. You will then be refunded a Medicare rebate into your nominated account or bank card. Please ensure you have a bank account linked to Medicare.
This decision has not been made lightly nor without a heavy heart. We have consulted with the owners of Cygnet Family Practice, all team members and the Cygnet Family Practice advisory board to help make this decision.
If you have serious concerns regarding the cost of health care we encourage you to write to Federal Member for Franklin Julie Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org or any of the Tasmanian Senators.
These changes will create some exciting new opportunities.
Attracting new health practitioners to the area.
2 new doctors starting on the 4th November 2019.
Evening/Saturday clinic coming in the new year.
More medical equipment to save travelling to Hobart.