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Frequently Asked Questions - Fees

This page provides answers to questions regularly asked of the AMA.

I didn't receive my AMA List book. How do I get one?

All books should have been received by 1 November 2016. If you did not receive your book please contact us on 02 6270 5400 or at feeslist@ama.com.au.

I need more than one AMA List book. What do I do?

If you require more than one book please print out and fill in the order form on this site and email feeslist@ama.com.au or fax to 02 6270 5499. Members second copies cost $57.00 per copy.

How do I get my Username and Password?

Members who do not currently have a Federal AMA username and password for accessing the Members Only area of the AMA's website should request it in an email, providing their name, address and email address, to memberservices@ama.com.au. Your details will be verified and an email confirming your username and password will be sent.

Can I charge a cancellation fee if a patient misses an appointment?

This is a fairly grey area. Generally, as long as there is some notice in the surgery notifying patients that a cancellation fee may be charged if they fail to attend an appointment. You may want to take into consideration the patients reason for missing the appointment before billing them. The patient may well refuse to pay the fee and you would probably have little recourse in recovering that fee.

What is the scheduled fee for an insurance/medico-legal report or court attendance?

There is no scheduled fee for reports. Members are advised to assess realistically what their time and skill are worth. The AMA recommends that all fees are discussed with the lawyer/insurance company at the outset, including attendance to give evidence at court and compliance with subpoenas to produce documents. Members should be aware that each State and Territory may set maximum fees for services, particularly in the areas of workers compensation and injuries arising from motor vehicle accidents. Early communication may avoid disputes about fees once the services are performed.

I have received a subpoena for my clinical notes and a cheque for approximately $30 to cover expenses. My expenses for complying with the subpoena exceed this payment - can I ask for more money and do I have to comply with the subpoena?

Firstly, you must comply with a valid subpoena, which is one issued by the Court/Tribunal and accompanied by the prescribed conduct money. Secondly, the $30 (approx) fee (i.e. the conduct money) provided is to cover the cost of postage and handling. It does not cover the expenses involved with photocopying. You are well within your rights to advise the requesting solicitor of what your expenses will be/are. If agreement cannot be reached with the requesting solicitor, please contact your State AMA and they may intervene with the solicitor for you. As a final resort, you may apply to the Court to have any reasonable expenses, exceeding the conduct money, reimbursed.

In cases where the subpoena is not accompanied by the conduct money please notify the relevant Court/Tribunal that there is insufficient money for you to meet the requirements of compliance.

Can my doctor charge an upfront fee?

If the upfront fee is a down-payment on the services to be provided than the answer is yes. The AMA recommends that the patient check with the doctor as to what services the upfront fee covers them for, and what other charges if any they may be liable for. Patients should also clarify what the refund policies of the practice are in the event that they decide to change doctors or to not go ahead with the treatment/procedure.

Is the IBNR refund taxable?

Yes. The incurred but not reported (IBNR) levy was a deductible expense, so therefore any refund of it becomes part of assessable income.

Does the IBNR refund include GST?

There is no GST component in the refund because there was none in the levy itself.

What are the tax effects of the Medical Indemnity Subsidy Scheme?

The medical indemnity premium is a tax deductible expense, the subsidy reduces this expense. If the subsidy is to be received in cash, it will form part of taxable income. There will be no GST component in the subsidy.

Can I claim a Medicare item for a Death or Cremation Certificate?

A Medicare benefit is not payable for issuing a Death Certificate, however an attendance on a patient on which it is determined that life is extinct can be claimed under the appropriate Medicare item. For additional information please refer to MBS Explanatory Notes A.3

What do I do if there is no Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item for a service I provide?

When in doubt about an item always check with Medicare Australia before claiming. There is no "best fit" item in the MBS. Where no MBS item exists patients should be advised that no rebate is available.

What is the process for getting a new item on the MBS?

The Comprehensive Management Framework for the MBS was announced by the Government in the 2011-12 Budget. The Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) will review the clinical quality and appropriateness of MBS items and fees, and provide advice to the Minister for Health and Ageing on medical services to be subsidised through the MBS. Further information on MSAC is available at http://www.msac.gov.au.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the MSAC Secretariat for a preliminary discussion about the application process prior to submitting an application.