We have instituted a Treatment Room Facility Fee in addition to our normal medical or procedural fee charges.
The reason for these changes is the costs for Nurses’ wages, medical and surgical dressings & equipment, and payment for the doctor’s time and expertise are not even remotely covered by Medicare rebates, which forces the clinic to operate at a massive loss.
With new Medicare changes, we cannot continue to run these services and remain viable.
- For all wound care, a $10 TR Facility Fee will take place for each visit.
- Immunisation, biopsies and other minor procedures will incur a $10-20 TR Facility Fee. (No additional fee for childhood immunisation or over 65 flu/pneumonia vaccines)
- All surgical procedures (such as lacerations or excisions) and the treatment of fractures will incur a $50 TR Facility Fee.
- Any other service not rebated by Medicare for our nurses’ time and equipment(such as ear toileting) will also incur a fee of $10 TR Facility Fee.
- Pap tests conducted by our nursesincur a $30 TR Facility Fee. There is a rebate for a GP Pap test.
Please note that these fees cannot be rebated by Medicare. However, many other services provided by our nurses do not incur any additional fees at all. Please do not hesitate to ask your doctor, nurse, or our reception staff if you have any questions.
As a result of the Medicare changes, we have also instituted a Swift Solutions Clinic.
This may involve seeing our nurse before seeing a doctor in order to quickly organise the minor service that you need.
Situations where this may occur include rapid encounters such as repeat prescriptions and referrals (which are now no longer available over the phone for pickup) and other minor matters such as getting results back from blood tests and imaging (now no longer available over the phone).
Any interactions that are expected to take less than 10 minutes can be serviced by our Swift Solutions Clinic.
We respect the fact that your time is important and we apologise for any unexpected delays. If you have pressing commitments soon after your consultation, please advise the receptionist on arrival.
We make every effort to see you at your allocated appointment time, but occasionally issues may arise which are outside of our control and require immediate attention. We appreciate your understanding in these situations.
At The Clinic 279, we pride ourselves in maintaining a comfortable, welcoming environment for our patients and their families. We provide dedicated areas for children with good quality books and toys, curtains, gowns, and sheets in each consulting room for privacy and patient comfort, and the clinic is professionally cleaned by an accredited cleaning company and maintained on a daily basis.
Please note that whilst we have filtered water available, food and drink (other than water) is not permitted in the clinic. Smoking is not permitted in any area inside or outside the building or surgery surrounds.
If there is an area in the clinic which is not to the level of your expectation, please advise staff at the front desk.
Ample parking is available in Bruce St for patients. Please note that on-site parking is only reserved for doctors, staff, and ambulance and other emergency vehicles. It must otherwise be kept clear at all times.
At The Clinic 279, we have a triage system in place for all urgent medical matters. All triage cases are clinically assessed by our registered nurses either over the phone or in the clinic to determine how quickly the patient needs to be seen.
We have emergency appointments available every morning and afternoon with each doctor for such cases. Because it is very difficult to predict level of demand each day, your doctor may be unexpectedly called to assist with a triage patient during your consultation, particularly in a life-threatening situation. During these times, delays are expected.
Your medical record is a confidential document. The Clinic 279 takes its responsibilities with respect to privacy very seriously. It is our intention to maintain security of your personal health information at all times and to ensure that it is only available to authorized members of staff.
Reception staff members do not have access to your clinical records.
It is particularly important that you advise us should any of your personal details change so that our information is always accurate and up-to-date. Please ensure that we have your current telephone numbers, especially your mobile number, and your current address.
It is now a Medicare requirement that you present your Medicare card and any current pension or health care cards upon each visit, so we can ensure that your records are current.
- No Information shall be collected at The Clinic 279 without patient written or implied consent.
- All patient information collected shall be used to provide a comprehensive approach to patient care.
- Information will be collected in a manner that ensures protection of privacy and confidentiality.
- No information that identifies the patient will be released to third parties without consent. However, there may be circumstances where the doctor will be obliged to release details of a patient's personal health information without their express consent - this may be the case if the situation was an extreme emergency, or if the doctor is legally compelled to do so.
- The Clinic 279 operates a fully-computerised medical records system: all doctors and employees have individual passwords to allow access.
- Information is backed up daily and passwords changed
- Administrative staff with access to your personal health information have signed confidentiality agreements.
- Some medical information is downloaded directly into your medical record (g. pathology results.) These are encrypted to ensure confidentiality.
- As this clinic is associated with several Universities, de-identified information may be released on occasion for research purposes. An example may be – how many patients with diabetes have had the Flu Vaccine? It will never contain any personal that could lead to you being
- Any other research or study may be conducted via invitation – for instance, the ASPREE Study looks at the role of Aspirin in vulnerable groups of patients. You may be asked to participate.
In situations where patients are speakers of languages other than English, a quality, free and accredited interpreter service is available on an hour’s notice. Remember to let us know upon booking your appointment if you are in need of this service.
When patients move to another medical practice, we will support the continuity of care by preparing a relevant summary of your medical records. When we receive a request signed by you authorising transfer of medical information, we will mail or fax this summary to your new GP. There is generally no fee involved for this service.
We have recently developed the capability of downloading your entire electronic file to a CD or DVD and transferring it to your clinic of choice via mail. The cost for this service is $20.
Should there be a need to review and more comprehensively summarise your clinical details or to copy records, a fee is levied according to AMA guidelines which reflects the time needed to recruit this information.
Problems concerning babies and children should be directed to the Doctor-On-Call at the Clinic, or directly to The Austin Hospital (9496 5000) or The Royal Children’s Hospital Emergency Department (9345 5522) after hours. .
Phone advice can also be obtained from The Maternal & Child Health Line on 13 22 29.
Reissue of lost or forgotten referrals for pathology or X-ray, may incur a cost of $10.00. This can be paid via credit card over the phone.
All test results are checked by your doctor before they are shared with you. It is necessary to have a follow-up consultation to obtain and discuss the results of tests. This is so they can be discussed in the necessary detail and any issues and concerns can be addressed. This is not always possible over the phone.
However, some routine tests in healthy patients where the results are expected to be normal (such as cervical screening results) may be given over the phone at the discretion of the doctor. In these cases, please call 10-14 days after the tests are performed and the nurse will be able to provide you with a summary of your results. Alternatively, the doctor may agree to organise for the pathology company to forward a copy of the results to you.
This is the safest way for you to be sure there are no problems. In most cases, your test results will be normal or as expected and can be discussed at your next routine appointment.
Follow up will depend on the clinical context and the results themselves.
If results are abnormal, another appointment will be required to discuss them further and to take appropriate action. Abnormal results cannot be discussed in detail over the phone.
In urgent cases where results of investigations are abnormal and require urgent attention, the doctor will contact you on the same day (which is why it’s important that we have your current mobile number and home address!).
Please don’t assume that the results of your tests must be normal if you have not been contacted by the clinic. Although we have a system in place to contact patients by phone or by letter to recall those who do not follow up their results, we may occasionally not be able to contact you. If you have not received your results within the time suggested by your doctor, please contact the clinic.
Results for Cervical Screening Tests (now replacing Pap smears) are notified by mail. Results are routinely forwarded to the Victorian Cervical Cytology Registry, which provides a safety net to ensure women whose results are abnormal are followed up. If you do not wish to have your details recorded by the Registry, please inform the doctor. As a courtesy to our patients, we will advise you when repeat cervical screening is due unless we are otherwise advised.
The doctors and nurses at The Clinic 279 have a number of resources at their disposal which help them to provide you with reputable information on your medical condition and how to keep well. We regard teaching patients and their family about their health an integral part of General Practice. After all, the word “doctor” comes from the Latin word docere, meaning ‘to teach’.
There are plenty of brochures available in our waiting room which you can take home. Please enquire at reception for further information.
We have an association with Melbourne and Monash Universities and regularly teach medical students in our practice. They spend time with us and get to observe communication and clinical skills in a general practice setting. It is a privilege for us to play a small part in the future of these young health professionals.
Students understand the confidentiality requirements of a medical practice and will only observe your consultation with your permission. We are grateful for your patience and understanding in helping these students hone their skills.
For Our Doctors & Nursing Staff
On a very regular basis (usually once a week), the doctors at the clinic undertake continuing education. We are very fortunate to have been instructed by some of the most eminent specialists in Australia. This ensures that we are kept up to date with current information and practices. We also strive to maintain a collegiate atmosphere within the clinic so that we can all learn from each other’s experience and expertise.
For our Reception Staff:
All members of staff undergo continual training as per accreditation standards and matters relating to good patient care.
We pride ourselves on our professional complaints handling structure and the manner in which we deal with patient concerns. our staff members are recruited for their ability to interact with patients and their families in a friendly and sensitive manner, and all staff members also receive regular “in-house” training, in communication and conflict resolution to ensure our Best Practice Policy can be upheld in every situation.
We value your feedback because we are keen to learn from problems, develop solutions, and prevent the recurrence of issues.
Please ask reception staff to provide you with a feedback form should you wish to make any recommendations, criticisms or complaints. They are all welcome and will be taken seriously. You can do this anonymously or request to speak with the practice manager.
The practice manager is Vera Alexander-Smith, who attends to all administrative matters. If you need to follow up any issues you may have about the practice, please contact Vera.
Should you wish to raise your concerns with an independent authority, you can contact:
The Health Services Commissioner, 10th Floor 55 Swanston Street Melbourne 3000. Tel: 9655 5200.
A referral is needed for you to obtain a Medicare refund for the fees charged by a specialist, and it is a requirement under the Medicare Act that all referrals are issued in advance of your consultation with a specialist, except in emergencies.
For these reasons, our policy is that referrals are not available without consultation. It is also illegal to backdate referrals and GPs are required to refuse such requests as it may lead to disciplinary action by AHPRA.
Once you and your doctor have determined that a referral is necessary, we assume that you will make every reasonable endeavour to attend the appointment made either for you or by you.
We recognize that you have a choice in determining the course of your health outcomes.
Since we have undertaken a consultative process, we expect that you will not only advise us, but also the specialist concerned should you decide to make alternative arrangements.
Failure to attend the specialist’s appointment may place your health or treatment regime in jeopardy. You should make every attempt to attend.
Where a consultation is not possible, it will only be at the doctor’s discretion that a referral may be obtained. This will incur an administrative fee of $20. Payment will be required at time of collection or can be forwarded to the specialist via credit card over the phone.
No Medicare rebate available for this service. Again, to comply with Privacy Laws, only the patient or authorised persons are able to collect the referral.
Prescriptions are legal documents governed by the Medicare Act. Due to legal constraints and the practice of good medical care, our clinic has decided that repeats of prescriptions are generally not available without a consultation.
Please monitor your scripts carefully and as they are legal documents and keep them in a safe place. It is important that you plan your consultation with the doctor in advance so that you are not left without important medications.
In exceptional circumstances, the doctor may issue a repeat prescription without a consultation. This will incur an administrative fee of $20. If the prescription is not picked up from the clinic within two weeks, the prescription will be destroyed. Payment will still be expected for the administrative services used to complete your request.
Please arrange to pick up your prescription yourself or inform the staff if someone else will pick it up for you (this is a privacy requirement). You can also ask the pharmacy to pick up your prescription for you.
It is a legal requirement under the Medicare Act that a referral to a specialist be given by the treating physician only after due consideration. As an appropriate level of assessment can only be achieved in person, your physical presence is needed in a consultation.