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  1. 1

    Charles Evill

    In my general practice I frequently see patients who have been treated for a fracture in the emergency department at the local public hospitals and have been told they will need a referral from me before they can be seen for follow up at the hospital outpatient clinic. As far as I know, there is no reason the hospital cannot have patients come back to the OPD on the advice of the emergency doctors. I believe the practice arises because with a referral from a doctor with a provider number, Medicare can be billed by the hospital for the OPD follow up. This is an invidious practice since Medicare is billed by me and the hospital and the patient is put to unnecessary trouble to see me for an appointment. And medically speaking, the GP appoinment for a referral only is a complete waste of time.

    Not only are costs shifted but they are inflated.

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