I don’t know what everyone else thinks but I have found it quite difficult to decide what to charge my patients when they come to see me. I know there are bulk-billing incentives but I always find it hard to decided what to bill my patients who don’t fall into that category.

The difficulty comes when working in a mixed billing centre and having to decide how much I need to charge them when they walk out. I know I have been taught to bill according to the timing of the consultation but sometimes when there is a consult that is difficult which has obviously warranted a Level C billing, I have to decide whether I charge them the $100+ fee that comes with it. I know they’ll get a big sum of that back but I wonder what everyone else thinks about someone having to pay that much when they leave. Do you feel uncomfortable? Do you reduce the consult to a Level B knowing that the gap will be the same? Do you bulk bill them when they’re in the Level C category? Or do you feel that over time your patients start to expect a certain standard from you which involves being charged irrespective of the presentation so as to justify that time they’ve spent with you? I’d like to think the last option is true.

I know coming from the hospital system, the idea of consultation based billing has never been a problem for me but now I find myself constantly having to decide what “the right thing to do is”. I know I don’t want to undervalue my profession or even undervalue myself but sometimes I don’t know what the right amount is to justify that time spent with a patient. Let me know your thoughts :).