Tripling Of Bulk Billing Incentives For GPs Are Now In Effect

The incentive for general practitioners to bulk bill children, pensioners and other concession card holders will be tripled from today.

The measures were a part of the federal government’s May budget and comes into effect alongside a $1.5 billion indexation boost to Medicare payments.

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It’s estimated five million children under 16-years-old and seven million pensioners and other concession cardholders will benefit from the changes – the demographics combined to account for nearly 60 per cent of GP visits.

Eligible GPs will receive the incentive as an extra payment on top of the Medicare rebate.

GPs who bulkbill eligible patients instead of charging them out-of-pocket fees on top of the rebate will receive the incentive.

Most appointment types will be covered, including face-to-face appointments longer than six minutes, including those for a mental health plane and telehealth appointments between six and 20 minutes.

The amount a GP will receive as an incentive will depend on the location of their practice.

In major cities, a doctor will get 34 per cent more for a standard bulk billed consultation of under 20 minutes, taking the Medicare payment for eligible patients to $62.05.

In regional and rural Australia, a doctor will get about 50 per cent more, taking the Medicare payment to between $72.80 and $81.10, depending on location.

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