Fee Schedule Nov 2018
Please see NOTICE_ON_FEES_2015.pdf for a current explanation as to why our fees are different from any other Taranaki practice.
It is expected that your fee is paid immediately after the consultation, or a payment plan arranged with reception before leaving. Not paying for a service is not an option. Running accounts has proven to be too expensive and have been discontinued other than by arrangement including an accounting fee.
The cost of a consultation varies according to time taken, equipment and skills used as well as eligibility for Accident Compensation (ACC) or General Medical Services (GMS) subsidies. Please note that this practice is not capitated by choice and so cannot offer low (highly subsidised) fees. The fees are not significantly different to "casual fees" charged by other capitated practices when PHO subsidies do not apply.
- Accidents -The ACC has not made any effort to cover the real cost of medical consultations, so a $40 "shortfall" charge applies on all but brief ACC consultations. It is not true that ACC covers all medical costs.
- Community Services Card (CSC) -the Government will subsidise some medical care if you have a CSC. To qualify, you need to be on a benefit or have a low income under. Find out more about your Eligibility, [or ring 0800 999 999]. You may also be eligible for a Disability Allowance to cover your fees.
- Home Visits These are only for house/bed-bound or rest-home patients and not because we are cheaper than a taxi or ambulance. Our practice recieves no funding for terminal cares so patients should not expect this care to be free. Fees will be charged at our discretion and would realistically be similar to 30 minute consultation fees.
- New patient fees applying from 1st Novemeber are listed below. Existing loyal patients are significantly discounted.
- Brief (under 10 minutes) for a simple problem or follow-up Consultations -such as monitoring a known chronic condition, with repeat usual prescription: $70 (less any GMS or ACC funding or practice discount).
- Quick (15 minute) Consultations for more involved follow-ups or a new problem. While a "traditional" time is 15 minutes, we have found that there is not enough time for any significant problem or multiple problems and is being phased out: $90 (less any GMS or ACC funding or practice discount).
- (New) "Standard Consultation"s -a 20 minute consultation is a bit more expensive but is realistically what many new (and definitely multiple problems) need to be dealt with appropriately. Our practice has no intention to sacrifice good practice to cheapness so the 20 minute consultation will be $110 (less any GMS or ACC funding or practice discount). This is still less than what other (subsidised) PHO practices make.
- Longer Consultations -a consultation that has multiple unrelated problems or multiple family members is likely to take longer, as are consultations for new psychiatric problems. A "full general medical" could take anywhere from 30 min to an hour and we expect patients to discuss how long they may need with the Receptionist or Practice Nurse see full medical. They will also attract much higher fees. Unbooked extra time is unlikely to be discounted and unless it is very urgent may be "put off" until after booked patients are seen. It is inappropriate to "save up problems" as it is unfair on booked patients and also false economy as ACC & Government subsidies don't generally apply to the extra time needed and insufficient time may be available to deal with them safely.
- Prescriptions, Forms and Certificates For medicolegal and quality reasons these will not usually be signed outside a consultation -which for these purposes can often be brief and inexpensive. In rare individual cases they may be signed but an extra fee is likely. Usually I need to see you about the details anyway, so PLEASE bring along any certificates you need filled (off work, disability, diasabled, driving etc) as you will have to come back if you don't.)
- Practice Nurse Consultations -follow-up checks (such as Blood Pressure) may attract a small fee, and longer consultations, particularly dressings and procedures (eg smears) will attract a fee in proportion to the time and cost of materials. Vaccinations on the Immunisation Schedule, and Influenza Vaccination people over 65, or with many chronic illness, e.g. diabetes, lung disease etc remains free. Fees have had to be introduced because the government has decided not to increase the small Practice Nurse subsidy for non-PHO practices.
- Specialised procedures and Minor Surgery- Fees will depend on the time, materials and type of procedure, but are likely to be somewhat less than specialist fees. Contact Gail (receptionist) to discuss expected fee, and payment options. Also see Minor Surgery, and IUCD & Mirena
I can't afford these fees -I can't afford to continue run this practice at a loss either. I could close and work at the hospital, but I prefer personal and family primary care medicine, or I could work at a clinic in a PHO but I value my independence to work entirely for the good of the patient, so higher fees are a fact of life in this private practice. If you are really struggling to meet medical fees you may better attending a PHO clinic or you could explore other options:
See the How you can afford quality Medical Care page