This policy explains the Beechworth Surgery’s fees and outlines how we support patients who may experience financial hardship from time to time.
The Beechworth Surgery is a private practice that charges fees for consultations. We are not a bulk-billing practice. We aim to balance the needs of our patients for affordable quality health care with the need to operate a sustainable business.
Fees and Billing Arrangements:
Fees are payable at the time of consultation by cash, Bankcard, Mastercard or Visa. A discount is available for same day payments (on accounts not already discounted).
The AMA fee structure forms the basis of our billing policy. A list of the common fees is displayed in each room and is available from the reception desk. If you have financial difficulties, please discuss this with your doctor or the Practice Manager.
Please bring your current Medicare card and health benefit card with you to each appointment.
Repatriation patients should bring your DVA gold or white treatment entitlement card.
In most cases, we can process your Medicare refund on-the-spot.
We have full fees for private patients and a concessional fee for concession card holders (Pension and Healthcare Card holders).
We understand that from time to time, patients may experience financial difficulty. The following policy explains our fee structure and how we can support our patients.
The objectives of this policy are:
To explain the two fee levels – full-fee and concessional fee
To provide support to patients experiencing financial hardship.
To provide guidelines to ensure a consistent application of the policy.
To provide information on other support available in the region that may assist our patients.
This schedule sets out some of the more common consultation fees (paid on the day of consultation):
script only / simple problem
up to 20 minutes / more complex
up to 40 minutes / very complex
Fees are reviewed annually on 1 July.
Hardship provision categories:
The Beechworth Surgery will support patients by accepting the bulk bill payment for a consultation in the following circumstances:
1. All patients holding a Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) Gold card.
2. All residential Nursing Home patients.
3. Childhood immunisations.
4. For any patient (Private, Pension card or Healthcare card holder) we see more than twice in a week.
5. Treatment of young people (under 18) – there are personal issues experienced by young people where they need to see a doctor on their own but do not have capacity to pay. It is difficult to describe all such circumstances but where appropriate the doctor will apply his/her discretion to bulk bill.
6. Scripts - We offer 5 minute appointments daily for patients needing repeat scripts only. These 5 minute appointments will be bulk billed (Normal appointments still need to be made for antibiotics, blood pressure medication, antidepressants or contraceptive medication.)
7. Results – In some cases a follow up appointment is required to advise of test results. For appointments limited to this purpose, and where there is no continued action needed by the doctor, these will be bulk billed.
Patients can request special consideration in the following circumstances:
In cases of significant medical or financial pressure. These situations will require a confidential application / discussion with the Practice Manager.
There may be other individual and specific circumstances as determined by your doctor.
In addition to bulk-billing for the above situations, other options including deferred payment or payment plans may be considered.
How will my application for special consideration be assessed?
(Please request an Application for Consideration of Financial Circumstances form from The Beechworth Surgery.)
We will use the following criteria to assess requests:
Whether the situation is temporary or permanent, and if temporary other options such as deferred payment can be considered.
The patient’s current and foreseeable medical costs – for example, just diagnosed with a major health problem and likely to be incurring significant out of pocket medical costs.
The patient’s financial situation – consideration of what the financial problem is – for example, current income vs outgoings
The length of time the patient has been a client of the Beechworth Surgery.
Patients experiencing financial hardship can access support through:
Beechworth Community Support
It provides food, meals and referrals for other services – 03 5728 2386 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The Salvation Army in Beechworth - Community Support Service.
It provides food, meals and referrals for other services - 0427 503 948 for appointment Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Upper Murray Family Care in Wodonga or Wangaratta - Financial counselling service Phone 02 6055 8000 or visit the website: http://umfc.com.au
If you have any questions regarding this policy, please ask to speak to the Practice Manager, John McColl.