Fees for Telehealth consultations and new fees for scripts/referrals from Feb 2023
Starting in early February 2023, Hunters Hill Medical Practice will be introducing some new charges for the following:
- Telehealth consultations (will have a gap, so no longer bulk billed)
- Prescriptions without a consult (a $20 fee will be introduced)
- Referral without a consult (a $20 fee will be introduced)
With telehealth becoming a more permanent feature of the medical landscape, there has been an increased shift toward electronic consultations and electronic requests for prescriptions and referrals. Doctors working from HHMP have accommodated this as much a possible during the height of the pandemic with a focus on patient care and service delivery. The provision of bulk-billed telehealth to patients for over 2 years now, has been a significant strain on these doctors and the practice infrastructure as a whole. Recent cuts to longer consults make this even more challenging.
The Problem with Bulk-Billing
As many already know, bulk-billing is not a viable way to run a quality medical service that allocates appropriate time and resources to patient consultations. It also makes it harder to attract quality doctors to work from our clinic. This coupled with the recent world-wide inflation leading to significant increases in input costs: equipment, consumables and staff has meant, that the introduction of fees or gaps to the above services can no longer be delayed.
The introduction of a fee for scripts and referrals is also needed as these require time to create and send. Completing scripts and referrals in a timely and safe way adds many unpaid doctor and staff hours. A quick Google Search of similar practices will show that such fees and gaps have been a common feature of the General Practice landscape for the last few years.
Please be assured that staff and doctors working at HHMP understand that patients face the same inflationary issues and have spent a long time working out ways on streamlining this process and trying to keep out of pocket costs to a minimum. Over the next few weeks, multiple posts will be added that explain the above in more detail and set out the rules for each.
Supporting those in need
Doctors working at HHMP have always focussed quality of care and providing patients with the time they need to properly address their concerns, no matter if they are privately billed or bulk-billed. It is impossible to provide a quality service with a focus on medical excellence without charging a gap. That said, the staff and doctors at HHMP endeavour to assist those in need with reduced fees or bulk billing for select patients on a case by case basis. Please discuss this with your doctor.
Do you have any questions
If you have general questions about billings please speak to our reception team. Specific issues should be discussed with your doctor. Please call us on 02 9817 2080.