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Appointments

Where possible, patients will be given an appointment with their chosen doctor. Normal appointments are scheduled at 15 minute intervals, but shorter or longer consultations can be arranged.


Home Visits

Practise patients can obtain a visit at their home or nursing home, but not in the hospital. Patients are encouraged to come into the surgery if able, otherwise the practice endeavours to provide a home visit. If the matter is deemed urgent and the doctor or nurse practitioner is unable to attend within a period of time, then we will encourage the patient to attend the Casualty Department of the local hospital. Please note that with the exception of Nursing Home, and Residential Aged Care Facility visits, all home visits are not bulk billed and are fee paying.


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Billing Policy

Patients of Dr Robert Pokoj and Dr Nnadozie Awujo are directly charged to Medicare (bulk billed) for their consultations during appointments if medicare rebatable. Therefore there is no out of pocket expense. Dr Nachiappan, Dr Pogosian and Nurse Practitioner Kathy Mitchell are mixed billing practitioners and do not bulk bill patients unless designated during a consultation with a particular patient. This applies to all patients, irrespective of whether a concession card holder.

Dr Robert Pokoj is the designated Local Medical Officer, for the Repatriation Scheme/ DVA. He will accept the Gold Card as complete payment for all medical services to Veterans at this practice, not withstanding the time, hour or day of consultation.

Patients may choose any doctor or nurse practitioner of their choice on a given day, appointment schedule permitting. Staff will be able to provide information on request as to availability and assist with a patient’s scheduling of appointments.

Any patient may be bulk billed on request to their practitioner in case of financial difficulty or other reasons, which can be discussed, with their practitioner, who may then instruct the receptionist. However, unless there is exceptional circumstance, refusal may occur.  The authority to bulk bill any patient is not the prerogative of the medical receptionist. Please do not apply undue pressure on the reception staff by insisting.

New and intending patients of the practice are treated as fee-paying patients until accepted as regular patients of the practice after which the billing methods stated earlier applies. These patients, and others who have a consultation for a second opinion or a visitor to Broken Hill, are deemed Visitors of the practice. 

Non-payment of a consultation bill, will result in a notification being issued to pay the bill within seven days. Non payment of an outstanding bill would result in the practice receptionist refusing to give the said patient future appointments to see a doctor in the practice, or attend to any paper work of the patient until the outstanding sum is paid in full.

Patients are expected to pay for their consultation at the time of the appointment, after completion of a doctor’s consult. However, arrangements can be made to pay at a later date if prior consent from the doctor or practice is obtained before the consultation has commenced. All payments in cheque form, communications regarding billing and other matters in writing are to be made payable to or addressed to- Nachiappan Pty Ltd, not withstanding the doctor or service to which the payment is attributable to.


After Hours Service

Practitioners are on an after hours roster, including weekends. Generally, due to medico legal reasons, advice is not offered by phone, in particular to patients with whom a doctor is unfamiliar.

The practitioner on roster can be contacted on the surgery number after hours, on 80873620, which will indicate the practitioner on duty and the way to contact them. On unavoidable occasions when there is no doctor available, the recorded message after hours will indicate this.


Work Cover

The practice is willing to see WorkCover (work injury) related consultations and is willing to see patients of other practices in Broken Hill where their usual treating General Practitioner is reluctant to do so. These patients will be required to pay for the consultation at the time of consult and then be reimbursed by their employer or insurer at a later date.

Work Cover patients are not billed to the insurer for services rendered at the practice, even if the insurer accepts liability for the injury. All workcover reports and consults are directly payable by the injured worker and then reimbursement sought from their insurer.


Excisions, Pap smears and results of investigations

Dr Nachiappan does excisions and Nurse Practitioner/Accredited Womens Health Registered Nurse Kathy Mitchell do Pap smears for all patients. Patients are encouraged to return to the practice after investigations including Pap smears to obtain their results by appointment.

Results of any and all investigation as well as other patient matters are generally not encouraged to be discussed over the telephone, this is in keeping with confidentiality requirements of a medical practice and protects the privacy of patients from other third parties not privy to such personal information.


Complaints

Patients are encouraged to raise issues of non-agreement with the practice receptionist if the matter can be dealt with summarily. If the matter is not adequately dealt with by a simple inquiry or it is a matter that a doctor or the Office Manager needs addressing then patients are encouraged to leave a note in writing (Suggestion Box at front counter) or to approach the Office Manager by appointment.

Most issues raised by patients can be dealt with by an adequate explanation by the individual concerned. Patients are encouraged to raise any complaint against the Practice with members of the Medical Practice prior to consideration of legal alternatives or authorities including the Health Insurance Commission and the Health Care Complaints Commission.


Sales Representatives (Pharmaceutical, Office supplies, Pathology, Radiology, Surgical suppliers)

The Practice reiterates that its primary responsibility is provision of service as a health care provider. As a result of time pressures on our doctors, indemnity changes and litigation issues, changes have been made to accommodate sales representatives.

It is acknowledged that an opportunity needs to be given to sales representatives to meet doctors, despite busy schedules and patient needs. It has been brought to our attention, that patient appointments are compromised by ‘slotting in’ sales representatives in between patient appointments, resulting in a longer wait by patients. It transpires that sales representatives wait for hours on end, for the opportunity to meet a doctor/s at the practice for at best a brief interlude, without adequate time to make their presentation.

Our doctors are happy to review product information by mail, and other modes and the opportunity to participate in clinical meetings. The practice would like to assure representatives that such information is accessible to our doctors without the need for face-to-face meetings.

Representatives can on communication with our reception staff, make pre arrangements for patient benefit including the acquisition of better equipment for patient advantage in a less than well funded area of health in rurality. This will enable you to have adequate ‘air time’ with all our practice doctors.
Open times 8am-8pm Monday to Friday; closed Saturday-Sunday. 2010 AGPAL accredited practise, Phone: 08 8087 3620
Made by Meena Nachiappan, copyright 2010-2012
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