Booking an Appointment-a 3 step process:
Make a booking request online using our Booking Request Form and provide information about your child’s situation. Staff will then phone you to organise an appointment.
You may also phone the rooms. In discussing your need, staff will make notes about your situation and start a file with your contact details. (many families therefore prefer using the online form)
Please use one of these options even if your GP has sent us a referral.
2. Appointments are booked over the phone with our receptionists in consultation with you. They will look at suitable options for times, add further information about your concerns and will explain fees.
3. You then confirm the booking by 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. We carefully manage waiting lists so that families in need can be offered earlier cancellations where possible. 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
The 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. Our fees are set to help sustain the practice’s ongoing provision of high quality care.
Many of our families have expressed appreciation for the services we provide. We will be striving to maintain these high standards into the future.
Affordability is 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 working in private practice are remunerated 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.
Our Billing and Payment Policy:
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 in full is required on the day of your appointment. Once paid, staff will lodge a claim for you. After the Medicare rebate, there will normally be a gap or out of pocket amount. Our advice about fees and out of pocket cost is given on the assumption that a valid referral will be on file for your appointment. [see below for information about medical referrals]
THE FEES FOR MY APPOINTMENT
Fees vary to reflect the type of appointment. Initial appointment 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 advise families of fees when organising the booking for an initial appointments when your child is new to the practice or where they have not been seen for some time. Further information may be sent to you via email or post if needed.Families are encouraged to raise any concerns or questions about fees and payment prior to the day of the appointment and should read our policy about concessions on our website (above).
Staff will advise you to expect one of several possible fees for your appointment. Fees vary according to the service needed and the doctors assessment of the complexity involved. Out of pocket costs are predictable as they capped and relate to whether a patient is new or attending for a review appointment.
If your child is booked for a review appointment, and you would like information about fees, feel very welcome to ask. 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
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 (see below for more information about neonatal fees).
REFERRALS & ELIGIBILITY FOR REBATES
It is your responsibility to provide a valid medical referral prior to the commencement of the appointment, in order to be eligible for Medicare rebates.
GP referrals last 12 months from the date when they are first used. Specialist referrals last 3 months.
Your GP may feel a special INDEFINITE referral is appropriate. Please be sure to advise our staff if your doctor has written this kind of referral for you.
Without a valid referral you will be restricted to claiming only a small Medicare rebate compared to the normal Medicare rebates available with a referral. Nonetheless, a medical referral is better practice and helps our specialists provide care for your child.
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. 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 team to offer the booking to families on our cancellation list. These families need time to plan their attendance and. offering appointments with such short notice creates significant stress. Inadequate warning makes it difficult for the practitioner to adequately plan their use of the time. Providers have a limited amount of time for clinics and a non attended appointment is never recoverable.
Appointments not attended or cancelled less than 48 hours before the start of your booking:
Cancellation Fee: A fee, inclusive of GST, may be payable for non-attendance or late cancellations and this will be levied at the manager’s discretion. For medical appointments this fee will be $85.20 for review bookings or $$170.20 for new patient bookings . For allied health bookings the fee will be $ 80.00 for review bookings and $150.00 for new patient bookings. For alllied health ASD Assessment bookings the fee will be $300.00.
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 this fee:
Pre-booking fee: Medical appointments: $85.20 review, $170.20 for new; allied health bookings: $80 for review appointments or $150 for new; for allied health Autism Assessment bookings: $300 per appointment).
An additional amount will be payable on the day to complete payment of the fee for the appointment. Medicare rebates (or private health if applicable) 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.
Your appointment is time reserved in our appointment book, and your provider’s schedule, at your request and we ask that you keep this commitment in mind. We also ask that you promptly respond to any phone calls, emails or sms from the practice concerning your appointment.
Our Fee Payment Policy Regarding Your Neonatal Care (or other ) Invoice
We send an invoice to families for care of their newborn in hospital.
Some families receive invoices for allied health home visits.
The due date is indicated on your invoice.
(For appointments in the rooms, fees are normally payable on the day and where an invoice is raised for this, the due date is the same day.)
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. 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 the scheduled fees and 80% of the remaining gap so that families can expect a much smaller gap. 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.Some of these checks may be very brief. 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. Staff can advise on payment methods that help achieve quicker rebates.
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.
Families can visit their nearest Medicare office with the Declaration of Birth or Birth Certificate to register their baby. Families report improved satisfaction using myGov to register their baby.
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, families will be welcomed to negotiate a plan, if needed, to pay the account in stages to avoid any difficulties.
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. The admitting hospital and the referrer will be notified of the unlikelihood of any further referral regarding the family being accepted where the matter is not satisfactorily resolved.
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 4% to cover associated and disproportionate extra administrative costs.
We ask that cash is not offered unless absolutely necessary.
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.