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Independent practitioners (doctors) working with AHA Clinics introduced changes to co-payments for standard consults from 4 April 2022* to help offset the increasing cost of health care in Australia.
Since AHA’s inception in 1970 we have prided ourselves on opening up access to first class health services for our Seaford community, as affordably as possible. We understand that every dollar matters to our patients. So making the decision to introduce changes to the independent practitioner co-payment policy is not something that has been taken lightly.
Why are these changes being introduced?
Since the beginning of 2020, the cost of health care has skyrocketed. For example, the pandemic saw the introduction of mandatory Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which comes at a huge cost and is increasingly difficult to source. COVID protocols have caused a big rise in administration and practice management costs. We’ve also faced a land tax uplift in South Australia. Meanwhile, Medicare rebates remain stagnant.
We know that everyone has been doing it tough, so independent practitioners at AHA avoided passing on any of these costs to patients for two years. But the priority, above all else, is to ensure that our community can access first class health care at the highest standards possible. And to do that, measures must be taken to ensure AHA Clinics remain sustainable.
How much is the co-payment for a standard consult be from 4 April 2022?
Like many medical practices, most patient consultations are covered by Medicare plus a co-payment (also known as a ‘gap’). Independent practitioners at AHA along with AHA’s finance team worked hard to keep your out of pocket cost down as much as possible. The breakdown from 4 April 2022 is as follows:
- Standard consult: Up to 15 minutes (max. two health concerns), Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm: $20 co-payment
- Long consult: 15 – 30 minute consult (max. four health concerns), Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm: $40 co-payment
- Standard after hours consult: Monday to Friday from 6pm, all day Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: $40 co-payment
- Long after hours consult: Monday to Friday from 6pm, all day Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: $60 co-payment
As is standard practice, you will continue to pay for the full consultation with the Medicare fee reimbursed directly into your bank account.
Co-payment exemptions, Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm:
- DVA Gold Card holders
- Families SA
- Patients 65 and over with concession card
- Child immunisations
- Health assessments, care plans including mental health and GP management plans
Co-payment exemptions, ALL times:
- DVA Gold Card holders
- Families SA
We value the relationships that have been built with the AHA community over many years. We thank you and appreciate your understanding as we continue to work hard to take care of you.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to our team via email at email@example.com.
Chairman, AHA Clinics
*The initial date for the changes to co-payments has been updated from 1 February to 4 April 2022.