With rising interest rates, wages, and overhead costs in general, many Medical Practices are finding it more and more difficult to make ends meet.
For those practices that bulk bill their patients, the increasing cost of providing health care, has made bulk billing every single patient unsustainable at the current Medicare patient rebate. These practices are now considering some form of private bills in order to just survive.
The RACGP is actively encouraging Medical Practices to move away from bulk billings to survive and be able to provide patients with sustainable health care.
Naturally most Medical Professionals are fearful of change and just what moving from bulk billing to private billings will do to their practice. However, the fear of not making this change should be greater as the practice may not be able to continue to break even in the long term if there is no change.
Some Practices are transitioning gradually with the introduction of Mixed Billings. This is where there is a combination of Private Billings and Bulk Billings. Although this will provide some reprieve to the increasing cost of providing health care, it may just be putting things off. Although some change is better than none.
With an increasing number of practices moving to Private Billings there is a wave of change occurring and this is making the decision to implement Private Billings easier for many.
The community is becoming aware of the rising cost of health care and so there is an adjustment in expectations occurring with patients now having an increased expectation they may pay a gap.
With fewer Medical Bulk Billing Practices there is far less competition in this space. Many medical practices are realising that competing on price alone in the provision of quality health care is simply not the future of community health care.
There is a limited supply of quality Doctors and many of them are preferring to work in a Private Billings Practice for various reasons. Where you want to attract doctors to your practice then transitioning to private billings may increase your chances of finding and keeping quality doctors and staff.
While changing to Private Billings is a difficult decision for Medical Professions to make, once made the process of transitioning from bulk billing to either Private or Mixed Billings can be managed and implemented systematically. There are a number of key steps necessary to lay the foundation for this transition. One key appointment is to engage with a Professional or Mentor to offer you the support and guidance you need to make the change. A Mentor will be your guiding light and sounding board so you can manage your fears and level of stress.
Where you want to provide sustainable quality health care to your patients Private Billings is a change you must consider making and then only other consideration is when!