Best Practice Software

How Best Practice Can Help You Move From Bulk Billing To Mixed Billing

The recent Touchstone report from Cubiko, a practice intelligence platform that integrates with Bp Premier, shows a sizeable shift in the healthcare landscape in Australia. In 2022, the number of GPs that were predominantly bulk billing patients was 60 per cent, but that figure has since dropped to only 26 per cent at the end of 2023, indicating a growing preference for mixed billing.

The Touchstone General Practice Industry Report draws from data spanning 811 practices across Australia, offering insights into industry trends, helping analyse practice performance and supporting informed decision-making in the General Practice landscape.

Despite the introduction of the triple bulk billing incentive in November 2023 leading to a noticeable increase in billings per hour, only one in four practices are now predominantly bulk billing. This represents a steep decline over the two years of data included in Cubiko’s report.

As of February 2024, Cubiko’s touchstone dataset is made up of predominantly 5-9 GP FTE and 75% predominantly mixed billing practices.

Interestingly, the introduction of the triple bulk billing incentive had a small yet measurable effect on the percentage of concessional patients who were bulk billed. This suggests that the incentive is working as expected, but it’s not enough to reverse the overall trend toward mixed billing.

Medical practices have also increased their fees over time, with the average private fee for a consultation rising from $72.92 in 2022 to $81.21 by December 2023, due to ongoing cost pressures.

There has been a slight increase in chronic disease management items, but a decrease in nurse-led billings and no-show rates have slightly increased for bulk billing practices, while slightly decreasing for mixed billing practices.

As expected, online appointment bookings have seen a modest rise from 17.5% to 24% between January 2022 and December 2023.

It’s clear that general practices are shifting towards mixed billing, and as the practice landscape continues to change, it will be interesting to monitor how this trend develops. But how can Bp help you move from predominantly bulk billing to mixed billing?

Using Cubiko and Bp Premier empowers your practice to perform at its best. Cubiko provides vital practice data, benchmarking this data for reporting capabilities to guide business decisions on bulk billing, mixed billing, mitigating risk, and maximising potential practice revenue.

Authored by:

Jesse Maddren
Content Developer at Best Practice Software

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