Booking an Appointment
Use our Booking Request Form to request an appointment and provide information about your child’s situation.
Appointments and bookings are then made over the phone with our receptionists. They will book an appointment in consultation with you. This booking must then be confirmed by your completion of the Patient Information Form online within 48 hours.
Our paediatricians are generally tightly booked. Most are booked for some weeks or months ahead but we carefully manage waiting lists so that families in need can be offered any earlier cancellations. For new patients, an hour long appointment must be booked but it is often easier to book review appointments.
When booking, please let staff know about any pressing concerns and also ensure that you or your GP sends through the GP’s referral letter as soon as possible. Earlier appointments may be available with another of our paediatricians. Our practice’s team of paediatricians and allied health providers have a strong tradition and culture of mentoring and discussion of clinical challenges, as well as provision of back up care for each other’s patients.
PAB’s Cancellation list
When a family cancels an appointment, this opening can then be offered to a child on our Cancellation List if sufficient notice is given..
This cancellation list is administered carefully and the practice is very mindful of the need to offer appointments to children as soon as possible
Te Cancellation List is made available to families where
their child’s clinical need warrants an earlier appointment
the child’r referral has been sent to the practice
the family is prepared and able to accept the offer of an earlier appointment even with notice of a week or less.
Our practice is private, well situated and equipped and aims to provide excellence in care for children and their families. We take pride in supporting the practice of our medical and allied health team.
Our fees are set to help sustain the practice’s ongoing provision of high quality care. Affordability is also an important goal for us in setting fees and considered in light of the availability of various publicly funded clinics and providers. Fees are likely to increase over time with changes in Medicare rebates and increases practice costs. Health providers in private practice are remunerated for their work, only by private fees. Medicare (and sometimes for neonates, private health insurance) plays a big role in helping families afford these fees by paying rebates to substantially reduce out of pocket costs.
Many of our families have expressed appreciation for the services we provide. We will be striving to maintain these high standards into the future.
We are unable to bulk bill except in exceptional circumstances and only for a particular appointment, not as an ongoing option. Patients seeking bulk billing should consider attending appointments within the public system. Many of our paediatricians also consult in bulk billed or public clinics at various hospitals in Adelaide, including the Women’s & Children’s Hospital.
Healthcare, pension and concession cards do not routinely attract fee concessions. Cardholders are able to access a range of other government benefits which assist significantly with other aspects of family healthcare costs.
If you are concerned about the fees generally, or for your booking please call us. The practice is mindful that occasionally families may require concessional arrangements and concerns about fees should be discussed with our Practice Manager, Angela. We ask that any concerns are raised prior to your appointment, and so as to allow time for unhurried and private conversation.
PAYMENT OF FEES
Payment of fees is required on the day of your appointment and will, after the Medicare rebate, involve a gap or out of pocket amount. Once paid, staff will lodge a claim for you. Fee and out of pocket advice is given on assumption that a valid referral has been provided for your appointment. [about the required medical referral]
THE FEES FOR MY APPOINTMENT
Reception staff can help with general advice on fees over the phone. When your child is booked for a consultation and is new to the practice or where they have not been seen for some time, staff will explain the likely fees and the out of pocket costs. Further information may be sent to you via email or post if needed. If your child is booked for a review appointment, and you would like information about fees, feel very welcome to ask. Again, staff can usually indicate several possible fees but do give definite advice out the out of pocket cost for the appointment. Again, this information may be sent by post or email if needed.
Some review appointments are quite involved whilst others are more straightforward and are billed to reflect this. Families may see a different doctor in the practice from time to time and should be aware that fees and out of pocket costs may be a little higher or less than they are usually billed.
Our Fee Payment Policy Regarding Your Invoice
Our aim as a community of health care providers is to be leaders in the provision of excellent care and in the fostering of strong and effective health care relationships with children and families. Our doctors and allied health providers work in private practice and are remunerated only by payment of fees for the services they provide. Information about our billing and payment policy for these services is set out below.
FEES FOR APPOINTMENTS
An appointment in our rooms is provided on the basis that the associated fee will be paid at its completion. Fees vary to reflect the type of appointment. Initial appointments fees involve a higher out of pocket cost (gap) than review appointments. Staff will lodge a Medicare claim for rebates after payment if possible and unless you advise us that you do not want this service. These rebates should be paid within about 24 hours normally.
Staff aim to advise families of fees for initial appointments. Families are encouraged to raise any concerns or questions about fee payment prior to the day of the appointment and should read our policy about concessions on our website (above).
It is not always possible to predict your fee and staff may advise you to expect one of several possible fees for your appointment. Fees vary according to the service needed but out of pocket costs are predictable as they capped and relate to whether a patient is new or attending for a review appointment. Fees for the care of newborns vary according to the needs of each baby and the type of initial attendance needed. This cannot be predicted in advance but the associated out of pocket costs are capped.
REFERRALS & ELIGIBILITY FOR REBATES
It is your responsibility to provide a valid referral prior to the commencement of the appointment, in order to be eligible for Medicare rebates.
You may proceed with an appointment without a valid referral if you choose, however you will be liable for the normal, full fee for this appointment and will not be eligible for the normal Medicare rebates.
PAYMENT OF THE WHOLE INVOICED AMOUNT IS REQUIRED
Paying the whole amount at once ensures your family receives all applicable rebates in one step. This method avoids families missing out on rebates accidentally. If needed, and if agreed with the practice manager, payment can be completed with several part payments.
Payment of the whole amount also reduces our administrative costs and this in turn helps to keep practice costs and patient fees from growing unnecessarily.
HOW MUCH WILL I GET BACK FROM MEDICARE?
Standard Medicare rebates will be significant and are transferred to your bank account after fee payment and, Medicare claim lodgement. Staff routinely advise families of standard rebates and out of pocket costs regarding appointments. For postnatal care of babies in hospital, your invoice indicates your out-of-pocket-cost or gap amount after standard rebates.
Additional Medicare Safety Net rebates are paid to families whose general out of pockets health costs during a particular year have reached certain threshold amounts. If eligible, Safety Net rebates will further reduce your out-of-pocket-cost or gap. At the highest threshold of eligibility, the Medicare Safety Net rebates so that families will have only very small gaps. Many families of newborns become eligible for these additional rebates in the year of their child’s birth.
Neonatal Care fees and out of pocket costs
The amount of the out of pocket cost (gap) invoiced for postnatal care of non-admitted babies in hospital varies according to the type of delivery attendance required. Urgent, emergency or out of hours attendances attract the highest fees and hence the highest out of pocket cost (gap).The gap is less where baby is delivered by planned caesarian section, and less again where the paediatrician’s first attendance is non-urgent and follows normal vaginal delivery. Most families find that, with the safety Net, these out of pocket costs become quite small.
The Medicare Safety Net does not apply for admitted care costs rebated only by your Health Fund. This happens when your newborn is admitted for the whole stay in the hospital nursery.
When your baby is referred to your paediatrician, they will attend to conduct an initial check that is very careful and thorough and may involve some treatments. Your paediatrician has undertaken responsibility for your baby’s health and growth as a neonate in hospital. They will check on your baby most days, by visiting baby and by checking any observations and reports of the midwives and you, their parents. Baby’s discharge check is normally a more thorough check and your doctor may write a summary of things in your Blue Book. Neonatal billing is structured around these visits. If baby needs to have more checks in hospital, the bill may be larger but the fees will be rebated so that your gap or final out of pocket cost will not increase.
Families planning for maternity admission to Burnside, Calvary or Ashford Hospitals are encouraged to contact the practice for further information about planning for their future paediatrician’s fees for care of their newborn.
Health Fund or Medicare rebates?
Most babies are reasonably well during their first days and are able to room-in with Mum in hospital. These babies are called ‘non-admitted’ or ‘outpatients’. Non-admitted care is rebated by Medicare.
If baby is unwell or needs closer supervision and care they are admitted (as an inpatient) to the Nursery. When this happens, the admitted care is rebated by your health fund rather than Medicare. We will send the invoice relating to these admitted items to your fund for payment. We will also send you an invoice for any care not covered by your fund ( your out of pocket costs or "gap").
HOW QUICKLY WILL I GET THE REBATES?
For children registered with Medicare, all applicable rebates for a family normally arrive in your bank account within about 24 hours if our payment policy is followed (Medicare advises up to 3 days).
What if MY BABY IS NOT YET REGISTERED WITH MEDICARE?
Our practice is happy to allow families reasonable time to organise Medicare for their child. So we are able to wait for payment until baby is 6 weeks if needed. If your account is due and baby 6 weeks or more, we ask that you pay the account and we will happily assist you with prompt claiming once this is possible.
We do understand that sometimes, despite a family’s best efforts, a problem can emerge in the Medicare application. If there are exceptional reasons for a delay in Medicare registration, families should discuss an extension of time with the Practice Manager if a wait for rebates would significantly stress family finances.
WHAT IF I AM WORRIED ABOUT MANAGING THE PAYMENT?
Please feel very welcome to discuss your concerns and options with the practice manager. For invoices relating to neonatal care, we can arrange for a plan to pay the account in stages to avoid any difficulties.
A minimum of 5 full business days notice is required for cancellation.
At least a week’s notice allows the practice sufficient time to fill a booking that is being cancelled or rescheduled. We offer any cancelled appointments to other waiting families. These families need time to plan their attendance. Our staff need time to identify those in need of earlier appointments to contact. Less than 48 hours’ notice makes it very difficult for our administrative team to offer the booking to families on our cancellation list. Inadequate warning makes it difficult for the practitioner to adequately plan their use of the time. Offering appointments to families with such short notice creates significant stress.
Appointments not attended or cancelled less than 48 hours before the start of your booking:
Cancellation Fee: A fee may be payable for non-attendance or late cancellations and this will be levied at the manager’s discretion. This fee will be $85.20 for review bookings or $$170.20 for new patient bookings inclusive of GST..
Booking prepayment requirement: Generally the practice will require any subsequent bookings to be prepaid In circumstances where a pattern of last minute cancellations or non-attendance emerges. In this case, and at the discretion of the manager, further appointments will only be secured with pre-payment of $85.20 for review bookings or $170.20 for new patient bookings. An additional amount will be payable on the day to complete payment of the fee for the appointment. Medicare rebates will be claimed on the day if the appointment is attended and if possible under Medicare rules. If not attended, your prepayment will be converted to a late fee inclusive of GST paid to the practice.
We do understand there may be extenuating circumstances when short notice cancellations may be unavoidable for unforeseen reasons such as sudden debilitating or serious contagious illness, a death in the family or similar matter preventing you keeping your booking commitment. In these cases we encourage you to contact reception staff as soon as possible to advise them of your situation. The practice does not regard work requests, changed social or parenting arrangements, for example, as sufficient to waive any cancellation fee.
LATE PAYMENT FEES, COST RECOVERY & REMEDIES FOR OVERDUE ACCOUNTS
Payment delays and non-payment of fees add significantly to practice costs. Paediatrics at Burnside and its doctors strive to provide excellent care to patients and their families. Many families have expressed appreciation for our approach and we hope to continue providing this care in a sustainable way into the future. Fees are set carefully so as to cover costs and to remain affordable for families who desire excellence in private care in the community and in the hospital context.
The practice will thus apply late payment fees to delayed or unpaid accounts so as to help protect our practice from cost pressures and our many families from unnecessary fee increases.
We understand that sometimes an account can simply be overlooked and we will send a reminder letter (or sometimes we may speak about the late account if an opportunity arises). It is hoped that this reminder will assist families to promptly settle their account and so we will postpone the application of a late fee that has accrued for settlement delay past 17 days of the invoice date. Our posted reminder will ask that the account be settled quickly with payment will be required by 10 days from the date of the reminder.
If not settled within 10 days of this reminder letter, (or within 7 days of our reminder conversation with you) the initial late fee (for non-payment over 17 days past the initial invoice date) will be added to the account together with a second late fee due to the further delay of invoice settlement beyond 10 days from the reminder letter date. Hence a late fee of 3.5% of the original invoice balance will accrue to the account as soon as it becomes overdue but will be waived if payment is received promptly after the first reminder. If the account is not paid then, an additional 3.5% will accrue to the account each 10 days (past cob) until the account is settled or legal action is commenced or it is transferred to external debt collection processes. GST must be charged on late fees. It is your responsibility to ensure that we have your postal and other contact details. Late fees will not be waived for incorrect contact details. Please complete our Newborn Registration Form to avoid any problems with contact for account or clinical issues..
Unpaid accounts will be pursued. The debtor will be advised that, if still outstanding after 45 days, the debt will be transferred to debt recovery professionals or legal action may be commenced immediately adding legal costs to the account. If this account remains unsettled, substantial further charges for interest, recovery and legal costs will be sought and may be awarded by the court against the debtor.
We urge families with concerns about fee payment to speak with us, work with us to resolve difficulties and to ensure that the services provided to you and your child are appropriately remunerated without any unnecessary stress. Our practice staff are very approachable and understanding and can help you avoid any difficulty in managing your account.
Payment methods (please pay the whole invoiced amount)
VISA, Mastercard & AMEX payment preferred
EFTPOS or Credit Card in person
Online bank transfers (EFT/Direct Deposit)
Bank details for payment are provided on your invoice
Please identify your payment with the invoice number or child's name & birth date
Please email remittance advice and allow around a week for processing
Cash payments are not preferred and attract a surcharge of 3% to cover associated extra administrative costs
Correct change may not be available and may instead be given via online bank transfer
Paediatrics at Burnside is happy to discuss and assist with questions and concerns regarding your account.
Please contact us without delay about any account issues you may have, via phone or email.