People are often surprised to learn that a bulk billed podiatrist is the exception rather than the rule here in Australia.
This is for a number of reasons.
When Does a Medicare Rebate Apply?
Podiatry is an allied health service, which means that in the majority of cases a Medicare rebate – and therefore bulk billing – won’t apply.
The exception is for patients with a chronic health condition and complex care needs, for example:
- a diabetic experiencing problems with ulcers on their lower legs; or,
- a person with severe arthritis, unable to take proper care of their feet.
In cases like these, a referral from your medical practitioner is essential to access a Medicare rebate for your podiatry treatment. Medicare contributes to a maximum of five allied health services (not just podiatry) per calendar year, which could be quickly used up if you have a condition such as diabetes which may require sessions with a dietitian, a diabetes educator and a psychologist, as well as a podiatrist.
As you can imagine, there is a lot of administration work associated with these types of referrals, including your podiatrist being required to write a report for your GP.
This is why many podiatry clinics are unable to offer bulk billing in these cases. However the Medicare rebate does make it much more affordable.
A lot of GPs don’t fully understand how the Medicare rebate works for podiatry, and in particular, that bulk billing rarely applies – so when we receive a referral from your GP, we make every effort to contact you to explain the process and the small gap fee required.
Your Local Foot Care Professional
While we don’t have any bulk billed podiatrists at Trevor Lane Podiatry, we take care of our clients in other ways with:
- a concession rate for patients that provide us with their pension, health care, or seniors card;
- HICAPS for those in participating health funds, for on-the-spot claims processing;
- the convenience of a secure online booking system;
- modern equipment to provide superior diagnosis and treatment, such as digital gait analysis;
- professional fitting and a range of shoes suitable for wearing with orthotics;
- and we are particularly proud to be the only podiatry clinic in the Redlands offering Foot Mobilisation Therapy.
All of this in addition to our friendly, professional podiatry services for all the family.
So unless you have a chronic health condition with complex care needs, you can avoid the hassle of seeing your GP for a referral and make an appointment with Trevor Lane Podiatry today – your local foot care professional in the Redlands, for over 20 years.
For more information on podiatry and Medicare rebates you can visit the relevant page on the Australian government website; or find out about concessions, DVA, WorkCover, fees and referrals on our FAQ page.