The first comprehensive review of Medicare has found that as few as 30% of patients are being properly bulk-billed despite the Health Minister Greg Hunt claiming it is nearly 90%. The review, authored by Dr Margaret Faux, found a primary cause of Medicare fraud was ignorance by healthcare providers, who do not comprehend the complex billing system and often have no idea they are not complying with regulations.
Dr Faux, who is chief executive of the Australian Institute of Medical Administration and Compliance, said government data shows patients are being bulk-billed even when they have not been, skewing the data.
Faux says the government is turning a “blind eye” to illegal billing and that the bulk-billing statistics presented by officials are a “lie”.“Bulk-billing statistics have become nothing more than a powerful gaslighting tool because they make us think we must be imagining out-of-pocket medical costs,” Faux said.“The more we continue to believe this lie, the more we are contributing to Medicare’s slow demise, and sending our own out-of-pocket costs further up.”The report on Faux’s findings have been sent to the auditor general’s office and the health minister.
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