Allied health reminder: Medicare Bulk Billing requirements

Allied health reminder: Medicare Bulk Billing requirements

All Medicare providers who use bulk billing in their practice, including allied health, are required to comply with the following requirements:

  • If a practitioner bulk bills for a service the practitioner undertakes to accept the relevant Medicare benefit as full payment for the service. Additional charges for that service cannot be raised. This includes but is not limited to:
    - any consumables that would be reasonably necessary to perform
    - service, including bandages and/or dressings
    - record keeping fees
    - a booking fee to be paid before each service, or
    - an annual administration or registration fee.

  • It should be noted that, where a service is not bulk billed, a practitioner may privately raise an additional charge against a patient, such as for a consumable. An additional charge can also be raised where a practitioner does not bulk bill a patient but instead charges a fee that is equal to the rebate for the Medicare service. For example, where a practitioner provides a professional service to which item 23 relates the practitioner could, in place of bulk billing the patient, charge the rebate for the service and then also raise an additional charge (such as for a consumable).

  • Where the patient is bulk billed, an additional charge can only be raised against the patient by the practitioner where the patient is provided with a vaccine or vaccines from the practitioner's own supply held on the practitioner's premises.
  • It does not fulfill Medicare requirements for an allied health practitioner to bulk bill a patient and then charge an additional fee on a separate invoice to avoid the patient having to claim back the Medicare rebate themselves.

For more information, please visit hereor contact Primary Care Support at practice_support@nsml.com.au or phone 9477 8700.