HeartWest does its best to balance affordability for patients, to costs in running a business (including staff wages and their uniforms, premises rent, equipment lease, bills, communications infrastructure, insurances etc). To that end there is a blend between bulk billing services and private fees with out of pocket (“gap”) expenses. At HeartWest we have tried to minimise out of pocket costs and have only increased private fees five times in the last 15 years (the last increase was in 2016 when the government again failed to increase the medical rebate fees).- please see FAQ on bulk billing.
Currently, despite NO increase from the government in over 5 years for diagnostic services (echocardiogram, stress testing etc) HeartWest continues to bulk bill these services for Medicare Card holders. We recognise that these are expensive procedures and by improving and investing in our technology and processes we are able to absorb the increased costs that we incur.
For consultations (seeing the doctor) it is the doctors discretion about how they charge. Some may bulk bill, some may charge, most will have a mixture – please discuss your circumstances with your doctor. However please rest assured that patient care is our priority.
Please discuss with our staff or doctors before making the difficult decision of not seeing our specialist solely on financial reasons.
We provide the ability to claim your Medicare Rebate on payment of your account at the reception desk.
Unfortunately, we are NOT able to charge you a gap fee and then bulk bill the main fee as this is not allowed under Medicare Laws.
All of the following tests are bulk billed:
2. Stress Echo
3. Electrocardiogram (ECG).
4. Exercise Stress Test.
5. 24 Hr Holter Monitoring
6. Pacemaker Testing
7. 24 Hr. Blood Pressure Monitoring – is not bulk billed as it is not rebatable / subsidised under Medicare. Our cost however is one of the lowest for this important test.
Expenses for Admission in Private Hospital
If you have private insurance and are admitted as a private patient into a private hospital your doctor will discuss any “gap” fees with you. If your cover has an “excess” associated with your cover, this will have to be payable to the hospital. The doctor cannot adjust this.
In some hospitals there are extra costs for radiology and pathology – unfortunately your doctor cannot adjust this either.
In most cases HeartWest doctors do NOT charge out of pocket fees for inpatient services (consultations, coronary angiograms, transoesophageal echocardiograms etc). If the cardiologist has assistance from an anaesthetist, the anaesthetist involved will disclose any gap fees (generally there is no fee – please check).
If you do not have private insurance, but wish to be treated in a private hospital (particularly to accelerate your treatment) this can be arranged. There will be an out of pocket fee to the hospital and doctor – you will be informed of these fees. An advantage of HeartWest, is that due to its size it can at times negotiate some reduction in costs with some of the hospitals – please discuss with your doctor.
If you need to have cardiac surgery, there is likely to be an out of pocket cost. This will be disclosed to you by your surgeon. Any anaethetist fee will also be disclosed to you before your operation (Please note if you need an emergency procedure it will be sometimes difficult to fully inform you prior to your procedure).