Pricing newsletter – December 2022
Our last increase for the costs covered below was 1 September 2021.
We understand visiting the doctor is costly, and we have done all we can to keep our charges to a minimum without compromising the range, quality and accessibility of services we offer. However, we are an employer and have financial obligations like any other business.
From Monday 12th December the following pricing changes will come into effect:
- Certificate fees
- Urgent fees for some referrals, certificates and reports
- ACC wound care
Other issues we wish to bring to your attention are:
- Telephone consultations
- MyIndici charges for responses to direct messaging
- Double and/or extended appointments
- What CSC capped fees cover
- Covid related consultations
We are often challenged that a prescription is ‘just the click of a button’. For your reference we have put together an article which outlines the work your GP, Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Prescriber needs to do to complete a prescription request – see our article A repeat prescription is more than just a click of a button!
The turnaround time for standard prescriptions is now four (4) working days (previously three (3) working days). While most prescriptions are turned around quicker than this, the four-day period takes the stress off the system, particularly when a prescriber is away for any length of time. Any prescription required within the four-day period is considered urgent and carries an additional charge. We often hear ‘I only have one pill left’ when patients call wanting repeat prescriptions. For those requiring regular medications we suggest using a diary or reminder app to schedule when to request a prescription. We also encourage, if you are not already using it, being registered on MyIndici, as this is the easiest way to request a prescription as it goes directly to your GP. Our team would be happy to talk you through how to do this on MyIndici as it’s a quick and easy process when you know how.
An urgent prescription causes disruption into the day of your GP as usually they are required in between consultations to get this sorted – this delays consultations and can put the schedule of the GP under considerable strain.
Controlled drug prescriptions: if your prescription includes a controlled drug, the signed hard copy of the prescription still needs to be sent to your pharmacy before the pharmacy will dispense. Please allow time for this when you are ordering controlled medication.
Changes to pricing are as follows –
- Prescription fees for non CSC holders have increased from $25 to $30; and
- The urgency fee has increased from $10 to $15
We are often challenged around the costs of referrals so thought it would be handy to clarify when there is a charge for this. A referral can take the clinician anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to complete as they often have to include previous medical notes and their rationale around why you are being referred.
If a referral comes out of a consultation, and the time required to complete the referral can not be done within the 15 minute consultation window (meaning the clinician needs to complete the referral at another time), then a referral fee will be added to your consultation fee – this is payable at the time you pay for your consultation. This includes children under the age of 14 years.
If a referral is required after testing has occurred, you will be charged for a referral.
We know that our public health system is under stress, this means often initial referrals are declined. If you choose to be re-referred into the private sector, or be re-referred to the public system at another time, you will be charged for the re-referral.
Referrals to government agencies like care coordination can be time consuming for our team, and incur a referral fee.
Referral fees have increased from $25 to $30 for each referral.
Certificate fees have increased from $25 to $30 per certificate, for every 15 minutes taken to complete the certificate. The cost of activating an Enduring Power or Attorney (EPOA) is $50 per activation (there are two separate EPOAs).
Urgent fees for some referrals, certificates and reports
As with urgent prescriptions, an urgent referral, certificate or report that is required within four (4) working days, causes disruption into the day of your GP as usually they are required in between consultations to get this sorted.
The urgency fee is $15
ACC wound care
Despite what many think, ACC does not cover the cost of your healthcare. This is why we charge a fee. ACC has simply not kept up over the years as the cost of delivering healthcare has increased. ACC also do not cover the cost of materials used to care for injuries.
We charge you for –
- A co-payment towards the initial consultation;
- Extensions of off-work certificates (even if done virtually);
- Prescriptions that are required for pain management (if not given in a consultation);
- Nursing time for wound care; and
- Materials used, particularly for wound care
We have added a small charge of $5 for CSC holders and $15 for non CSC holders for nursing time when wounds are being reviewed and re-dressed.
Procedures & other charges
We have added to our fees page on our website, costs associated with many of our procedures and other services. While we are not legally required to display these charges, we feel transparency is best. We are also working on display boards of these procedures in our waiting rooms in both clinics, and hope to have these up by the new year.
Please note that some of our procedures (eg smears) have increased in price slightly to reflect the added costs to providing these services. Please ask our team should you have any questions.
‘My phones says I was only on the phone for 7 minutes, how have I been charged for a full consultation?’
We are often challenged on the cost of telephone consultations. These remain the same as a standard in-clinic consultation. A consultation includes the time required to write up the consultation notes and order blood tests or refer for x-rays or other investigations – it is not just the time your clinician spends with you on the phone that makes up the consultation.
MyIndici charges for responses to direct messaging
Our clinical team want you to liaise with them via MyIndici direct messages – this can cut down severely on messages going back and forth by phone, and it also provides the clinician with a chance to review your notes etc before providing a response. There can be confusion however both on response times and charging while using MyIndici. Please note the following –
- You should not use MyIndici to message your doctor about anything urgent as the average turnaround time for response is between 3-5 working days;
- When you send a message, you will see at the left hand side of the screen (or a pop up if using a smart device) information you need to know about when you can expect a response and that they may be a charge for messaging, if its deemed to be a consultation (NB: these messages can change during the year, particularly during the Xmas/New Year period);
- If your clinician has asked you, while in consultation, to give him/her updates (for example on how you are feeling on certain medications etc), no charges will apply to your message.
- Emailing your GP may incur a small charge for anything that may be deemed a consultation. Charges relate to the length of time it takes to respond to you. When messaging your GP (or the nurse), think about –
- Your subject heading – this will help the GP to determine the priority of response
- Using bullet points around issues you want to raise. The GP has access to your notes, so they do not need a lot of background information – the longer it takes for the GP to read the message the more expensive your charge will be (NB: a consult via MyIndici is much cheaper than a consultation by phone or in-clinic)
- Emailing the nurse may incur a small charge if it needs to be directed to the GP or is deemed to be a consultation (ie a clinical decision is made around your enquiry);
- If one of our team initiates a message to you that results from them making a clinical judgment about either your care or medication, this may be deemed as a consultation and incur a fee;
- Charges do apply for repeat medication requests.
Double and/or extended appointments
For CSC holders, the second 15 minutes of a double appointment is not covered by the capped fees system. For all patients, the fee charged for the second part of a double appointment is $56.
A standard consultation is 15 minutes. While we appreciate this can be frustrating, if the consultation extends beyond that, you may be charged for an extended appointment. Alternatively your GP may ask you to make another appointment to discuss further issues. A doctor is scheduled to see over 20 patients per day – when they run behind due to consultations going over this often adds a lot of stress to patients in the waiting room who are often on tight timeframes themselves.
What CSC capped fees cover
We often get asked this a lot. The capped fees for CSC holders only cover the cost of standard consultations (this includes both telephone and in-clinic). Funding from the government only allow for one standard consultation per day – please see our section on Double and/or extended appointments.
Should a procedure or other service come out of that consultation, it is charged accordingly.
Covid related consultations
While at the height of the Covid surge, most consultations for Covid related illness was covered by the government. However, this funding has now dropped away. The funding now only covers you for when you are in the acute phase of Covid (ie infectious). Please do not be offended but unfortunately, we are in a position where we need to charge for consultations for lingering symptoms or complications following this period.