The word is finally out
By Peter Demaio
As of 17 March 2017
The Challenge for 2017 is to continue to provide quality, accessible and affordable health care and remain viable as a medical practitioner.
According to a recent article in Dr Weekly, the gap fee paid by patients have increased by 5.7% in 2015. This is 5 times the inflation rate. They have also stated that 67.7% of patients were routinely bulk billed in 2015-2016 period. A similar snapshot was taken by the College and resulted in a 67% figure.
So with the continuing rebate freeze and increasing costs in mind, how does a general practice continue to provide accessible health care and remain financially viable?
The current circumstances suggest that the only options for a general practice is to increase patient throughput and diminish care, increase consultation costs and decrease accessibility or decrease administrative costs.
It’s evident that a ‘gap’ fee to supplement the rebate freeze would have to be set at $15.00 as an absolute minimum, and this is without considering the actual increase in income for the practice to cover bad debts, administration or improve accessibility.
These options could only diminish the quality of care and create accessibility issues. An unacceptable outcome for any Doctor that genuinely cares for their patients.
We could offer a solution that would significantly contain and reduce costs, improve productivity and make healthcare more accessible?
Use automation effectively implemented in airports, supermarkets and the business sector and make it easier for patients and staff alike?
It was possible for a practice to only increase a gap fee by $3.00 to $5.00 with no additional administrative costs?
That a solution would increase practice income by $1.00 to $5.00 per patient while still having a comparatively low impact on accessibility?
All of this and more is achievable by using the AutoMed System.
Patients can use the AutoMed System to make appointments online, arrive at the clinic and check in, access and review all their patient details, process any outstanding accounts, review the availability of Doctors and take note of their room number.
Once seen by the Doctor, patients can effortlessly return to the AutoMed Kiosk to pay for their appointment using Tyro or a card and then simultaneously confirm a follow up appointment.
This all can be achieved without visiting the reception desk. Freeing up time for staff to complete more pressing tasks, improve staff morale and cut costs.
The AutoMed System exists today, is constantly updated and fully patented.
While additional staff members can cost a practice up to $70,000 per annum, the AutoMed System provides an effective solution at a fraction of the cost.