Fees and Medicare Rebates
Diagnostic Ultrasound Imaging
We are a private billing practice and full payment of fees on the day of examination is appreciated. Fees are payable by cash, cheque, EFTPOS or credit card. The fee charged will depend on the type of examination required, and whether or not you have any current concession cards. We have a HICAPS terminal which allows us to apply for your Medicare rebate on your behalf. To allow us to provide this service we will need your Medicare card and an EFT card. Rebates are normally in your bank account within 2 hours.
Do you bulk bill any services?
All pension concession card holders will be bulk billed for services provided, including cortisone injections. The only exception to this is for Nuchal Translucency ultrasound where Medicare conditions are not met.
Health care concession card holders will be charged a reduced fee.
Why do you not bulk bill?
Unfortunately, the amount set by the Government for radiology services is insufficient to cover the costs of providing a high quality imaging service.
In most cases the Medicare rebate for radiology services is less today than it was 15 years ago. This means that, dollar for dollar, the Government is actually contributing less today for Medicare rebates than it did 15 years ago. When inflation is factored in, the government is paying up to 36% less.
Some ultrasound items have actually had their Medicare rebate reduced by 2% or more since 1998.
Clearly the current situation is not sustainable from a purely economic standpoint. Technology and productivity improvements cannot keep pace with the loss in revenue and the spiralling cost of rapid changes in technology and clinical practice.
We value our staff and our patients and think they are worth more than the small value the Government puts on our service.
We want to attract and maintain the very best staff whilst maintaining a very high quality service with the latest technology available.
At the same time, we understand our clients may be experiencing financial difficulty and believe services should be available to all patients on equal terms regardless of their socio-economic circumstances as such the discretion to bulk bill when there is a genuine financial need will be taken into account.
Nuchal Translucency and Medicare Rebates
Most ultrasounds performed attract a Medicare rebate. The exception to this is nuchal translucency scans. Medicare does allow for rebates on nuchal translucency ultrasounds, however there are very strict conditions whereby one of the following clinical indications must be displayed:
Hyperemesis gravidarum, hypertension, liver or renal disease, high risk pregnancy, uncertain dates, previous caesarean section, abdominal pain or mass, significant maternal obesity, suspected or known cervical incompetence, previous postdates delivery, advanced maternal age, poor obstetric history, suspicion of ectopic pregnancy, thrombophilia, previous spinal or pelvic trauma or disease, pregnancy after assisted reproduction, diabetes mellitus, risk of miscarriage, toxaemia of pregnancy, suspected or known uterine abnormality, autoimmune disease, risk of foetal abnormality, bowel stoma, abdominal wall scarring, cardiac disease, maternal infection, inflammatory bowel disease, diminished symptoms of pregnancy, alloimmunisation, or drug dependency.
Medicare dictates that it is only possible to apply for a rebate if the exact wording is present on the referral. If none of these are applicable, then you will not be able to apply for a Medicare rebate.