Frequently asked questions around accounts and billing
Below you will find some questions our receptionists often get regarding billing, accounts, and fees. Please click a tab to find information and our policy regarding different billing types and issues. If you feel your accounts query is not answered here, or If you would like more information about anything mentioned here, please call our offices and we will try to assist you and answer your questions as best we can.
Billing General Information
The majority of our patients never receive a bill from us as the Medicare Assignment permits us to charge Medicare for requested pathology services on the patient’s behalf. This process has been put in place to ensure efficient management of billing and does not leave you out of pocket.
In line with Medicare policy and the Health Insurance Act 1973 the Pathologist conducts any requested pathology services as well as any eligible determinable service(s) he/she establishes as necessary.
Bulk Billing Policy
Private Health Funds
All patients holding a valid Veteran Affairs card will be billed through the Department of Veteran Affairs. Please note, we have found that sometimes other clinic’s practice software does not print the Vet Affairs card number on the paperwork we receive. If you have received a bill from us and hold a Veteran Affairs card, please ring us as we may be unaware you have one.
Traveller & Overseas Student Health Insurance
Unfortunately, for patients with traveller’s health insurance or overseas student health insurance, we are unable to bill the health fund directly. In most instances, the health fund will be able to issue a rebate to the patient, but need a proof of payment to us first. In these cases we ask that you, the patient, pay the full amount of the invoice and use the receipt we issue to receive the rebate back from the health fund. If your fund will issue a cheque to cover a portion of the invoice, we ask you send this along with payment for the balance to our offices and we will credit your account.
Please note, we have Vietnamese and Arabic speakers in our office. If you would like to speak to a multilingual staff member, could you please indicate as best you can to the receptionist.
Out of Pocket Fees
In cases where extra services are required for diagnostic purposes, a bill may be issued for non Medicare rebateable items. If you have received a bill from us, it is likely to be for services we cannot bill direct to Medicare for. In these cases, different private health insurance companies have varying policies on giving rebates for such services. You should enquire with your health fund what your policy covers.
One common non Medicare billable item is Thinprep testing, which is taken alongside or instead of a conventional pap smear. Thinpreps provide a more detailed cytological image than Pap Smears, and so many GP’s recommend their usage. The fee for this testing is currently $36.00 AUD (as at Nov 2015). This cost would have been indicated to you at the time the sample was taken. If you have any questions about Thinpreps, Pap Smears, or other cytological issues, you may call our offices to be put in touch with a Cytologist, or contact your regular doctor.
Immunohistochemistry (or IHC) is extra testing for the presence of proteins in tissue samples. This information is used by pathologists to determine a diagnosis. Is it ordered on a case by case basis, and the majority of patients will not receive a bill for this. However, in some instances, a large panel of IHC is required in order for the Pathologist to effectively and correctly diagnose the condition. In these cases, an invoice may be issued to cover the costs of performing the IHC.