A Letter from the CEO

Dear Valued Patient,

I am writing to inform you of some important changes to our Billing Policy at Bawrunga Medical Services – Macksville & Nambucca Heads Clinics. After long and careful consideration, the decision has been made to introduce Mixed Billing in the Practice.

These changes will come into effect from 1st September 2022.

1. What is Mixed Billing?

Mixed Billing means that most patients will now pay a ‘gap payment’ for their GP Consultations. A gap payment is an out-of-pocket cost that is the difference between the practice’s private fee and your Medicare or Health Fund Rebate. Patients will now incur an out-of-pocket cost of up to $26.00.

Eligible patients will continue to be Bulk Billed.

2. When will Bulk Billing still apply?

Your access to affordable healthcare is very important to the Practice. Bawrunga Medical Services will continue to Bulk Bill all:

  • Children 16 years or younger
  • Pension Card Holders
  • Defence Veterans
  • Fulltime Students with a valid student card
  • Health Care Card Holders
  • NDIS eligible clients

Patients who have Concessional Entitlements will need to present their valid Concession Cards to Reception when attending their appointment.

3. How will the fee be processed?

Patients who are not Bulk Billed should expect an out-of-pocket fee of $26 for a standard consultation, this will be charged to your Credit or Debit Card at the end of your appointment. We will then electronically process your Medicare rebate on your behalf. The rebate will be processed by Medicare and refunded to your bank account.

We recommend that you ensure your Bank Details are up to date with Medicare to avoid any delays in receiving your rebate this can be done on my.gov.au or by calling Medicare.

We can aid with this process when you come in for your appointment.

4. How will I know the cost of my appointment? 

Our reception staff will give you the most accurate information possible about the costs of your appointment ahead of time. However, please keep in mind that the reception staff will only be able to offer you advice based on the information you provide and that your type of consultation may vary during your appointment.

Factors that could change the cost of your appointment include the length of your consultation, how many issues you discuss with the doctor, and whether there is a procedure involved in your appointment.

A schedule of the new fees will be displayed in the Reception / Waiting Room area of the Clinic or can be given upon request.

Bawrunga Medical Services will continue to Bulk Bill Care Plans and Health Assessments for all patients.

See below a summary of the fees that you will most commonly be charged.

Fees eligible for Medicare Rebate

Appointment Description Fee Rebate Out of Pocket

Short Consultation 1-2 simple Medical Issues that can be dealt with in 15 minutes or less. $65 $39.10 $25.90

Long Consultation 1 complex query, or a series of simple queries, that can be dealt with in under 30 minutes. $100 $75.75 $24.25

Extra Long Consultation Multiple complex issues requiring up to 45mins attendance. $135 $111.50 $23.50

If you are under financial strain at any time, please inform the Reception Staff about any difficulty you may have in making payment for your Consultation, and they will refer you to the Practice Manager to discuss options for the Billing of your visit.

5. Reasons for the change in policy: 

It is with mixed emotions, after much consideration Bawrunga Medical Servicces is forced to introduce a Mixed Billing Policy. The reality of the Australian Healthcare System is that Bulk Billing is no longer financially viable for General Practice. We delayed the introduction of Mixed Billing in hope of reforms to Medicare that have not eventuated. Medicare Fees simply do not cover the expenses involved in operating a Medical Practice.

Thank you for your ongoing support of Bawrunga Medical Services and helping to ensure that the Practice continues to support you and your family’s ongoing Healthcare needs – in the past and into the future – as we make this transition.

If you have any questions regarding this transition, please call either Nambucca Heads on 02 6568 8144 or Macksville on 02 6568 4755.

Kind regards

Leavina Reid
CEO Bawrunga Medical Services