Category: News

29/06/2021 by q0EE6LuWOi 0 Comments

The cost of healthcare

Investing in HIGH STANDARD QUALITY CARE

At Halekulani Medical Centre we always strive for continuous improvement to make sure we offer our patients the highest standard of quality care.

For that, we continually invest in the services that we offer our patients, invest in training our staff, and in upkeeping our premises to provide the community with the best experience while visiting the doctor.

Why can’t we bulkbill everyone? Sometimes, we are asked why don’t we bulk bill everyone?

Medicare is Australia’s public health insurance system and funds a range of services such as GP visits, blood tests, X-rays and consultations with other medical specialists. But not every healthcare service a patient needs is included in Medicare. The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) lists the services the Australian government will provide a Medicare rebate for. Medicare rebates do not cover the full cost of medical services and are typically paid on the patient’s behalf to the practice as a percentage of the Medicare Schedule fee.

When the doctors bulk-bill, patients often believe the doctor will receive the same amount of money for the service, just from a different source. This, unfortunately, is not the case. When a patient is bulk-billed, the doctor ONLY receives the current Medicare rebate.

As we all know, life cost increases year after year. The cost of running your household goes up: food, petrol, electricity, entertainment, housing, water, consumables all go up in cost. Likewise, the price of running a GP practice inevitably goes up in cost, which means, your healthcare cost also increases.

However, the government has frozen the contribution to your personal Medicare health fund since 2013. That means that the amount of money that Medicare allocates for your healthcare is the same (or less in some cases) than what they used to pay 8 years ago. Effectively, patients’ rebate has been affected.

In order to continue to be viable, and to offer a high standard of medical care to the community, (which is what we believe all Australians deserve), the Medicare freeze has forced quality medical centres to introduce a fee to cover the gap on the costs. That is the out of pocket cost to the patient.

However, Halekulani Medical Centre will continue to absorb most healthcare costs and continue to provide bulk billing existing patients, children under 16, indigenous concession cardholders and strive to provide the highest quality of medical care for all our patients. We take this opportunity to thank you for your continuous support.

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