Bulk billing is an option of payment under Medicare system in Australia. It covers a wide array of health related services at the discretion of a professional health care service provider. For example, bulk billing in Counselling Bondi is very popular and many people who need counselling for treating depression, anxiety, relationship issues and others use this service.
The doctor who is usually the health care service provider is paid about eight-five percent of the fee by the government in bulk billing. The service provider in that case only needs to bill the patient through the Medicare card to get the payment. This means the doctor only receives eight-five percent of the fee.
An alternative to bulk billing for the service provider is to collect the fee right away from the patient. In that case, the patient can claim rebate online by mail or over telephone at a Medicare office. There are even some service providers who offer electronic lodgment at practice by using an electronic payment system called EFTPOS. The rebate in such a case is usually seventy-five of the fees.
Previously under Medicare, it wasn’t acceptable to charge a patient a co-payment with the bulk billing option. This means a service provider offering bulk billing for a service is not to charge more for that service from the patient. But under the reforms initiated by Abbott Government this year, it was declared that a new provision will be introduced in 2014 budget for including a seven dollar co-payment for all bulk billed general practitioner and the medical test visits.
Co-payment is described as a rationing measure for decreasing the frequency of needless GP visits. The measure of co-pay was initially recombined by Commission of Audit and was adopted as the measure in federal budget to be put into practice right from the beginning of 2015 financial year. But exact reasons for the measure haven’t been explained fully. Funds that are gathered for the measure are to be designated to funding a national medical research fund. Co-payment actually works by diminishing the medicare rebate available to the providers by five dollars with extra two dollars profit going to the providers. A number of general practitioner clinics have indicated that they’ll weather this revenue loss for continuing offering free GP visits.
Service providers are to choose whether to use bulk billing. Most of the general practitioner services are actually bulk-billed but they are very less in affluent areas and in regional, rural and remote places of Australia where there is shortage of health care services and doctors. The main purpose of bulk billing is to offer economic constraint in the medical charges and medical fees.