Medicare bulk billing

The doctor I go to bulk-bills so it costs me nothing. Would you agree or disagree with this
statement? Why?
Response to question
Addresses the subject and the issues raised in the question
Evidence of an appropriate level of research regarding various concepts relating to the
question
Demonstrates an appropriate level of understanding of the theoretical principles and
concepts
Ideas are clearly articulated and coherently structured
Appropriate referencing
You are required to respond to the question in approximately 500-600 words answering the
question. (references not included in this word count).
In answering the question, use your own knowledge and experience, and other relevant
literature.
All your sources have to be appropriately acknowledged
At least 5 references

Medicare bulk billing

Bulk Billing refers to any medical arrangements where patients receive medical services
on credit basis. As supported by Kronenfeld (2011) while reviewing Medicare services, the bulk
billing involves the patients being billed by the medical provider for all services they receive,
implicating that cash transactions are eliminated in this case. From the statement made by a
patient that ‘The doctor I go to bulk-bills so it costs me nothing’, it implicates support of the bulk
billing system in Medicare. The patient considers the treatment at no instant pay as if it is free
service, thus terming as costing them nothing. Therefore, an analysis on some advantages
associated with the bulk-billing system can be viewed with respect to the support made in the
‘Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health’ by Khan et al (2004).

MEDICARE BULK BILLING 2
Bulk billing system in Medicare is financially convenient, since transactions do not
involve cash exchange for the services offered to the patient (Baicke, & Levy, 2012). This has
similar effect as medical insurance projecting similar advantage of no having to pay instantly for
services received. Medicare bulk billing is also safe and efficient, which makes it reliable to
many people who may not have enough or even any cash to withstand emergency medical
service expenses. As suggested by Elliot (2003) as he analyzed the bulk billing progress in
Medicare system, most services which may require high medical bills are served efficiently in
comparison to cases which result to extreme complications from lack of services due to
insufficient funds. Such cases happen in private sectors where cash is the key to service delivery
(Khwaja, 2010).
In the research by Khan et al (2004), Australian health care system has been
implementing the bulk billing system with great consideration on the accessibility of the
services, where availing the general practitioners’ services is the government target. Rural and
remote areas require similar services as other developed urban areas and thus equal distribution
is the focus of the Australian government for its citizens according to the research. In addition,
bulk billing saves lives just as ‘insurance cover’ does as supported by Baicker & Levy, (2012) in
‘Insurance value in Medicare’ book. This has been evident since all cases are treated
appropriately as the medical practitioners focus only on service delivery and not any other
payment agenda, which is usually addressed by the bulk-billing section.
Even though bulk-billing has received much support worldwide, research on Australian
government efforts to make the service available to all its citizens is still challenging as Khan et
al (2004) explains. The reasons for greater challenges are geographical inaccessibility of some
areas and the federal government of Australia is currently addressing the problem, as a measure

MEDICARE BULK BILLING 3
of strengthening Medicare. The other challenge analyzed in the research implicated many cases
of cross border with individuals from neighboring countries going for the bulk billing services in
the Australian government (Khan et al, 2004).
In conclusion, bulk billing has been viewed as being advantageous to patients since they
never get to direct responsibility for their Medical services, but are billed by the hospitals to later
pay. This is the main difference between insurance and bulk billing since the insurance cover is a
prepaid service while bulk billing is a postpaid medical service. As the early research by
Richardson (1987) asserted, bulk billing does not encourage abuse of Medicare since the services
are offered exactly as any other normal medical services. However, government intervention
plays the greatest role in effecting the bulk billing system in Medicare, as supported in Australian
research by Khan et al (2004).

References

Baicker, K., & Levy, H. (2012). The Insurance Value of Medicare. New England Journal of
Medicine, 367(19), 1773-1775.
Elliot, A. (2003). The decline in bulk billing: explanations and implications. Canberra: Dept. of
the Parliamentary Library.
Khan, A., Hussain, R., Plummer, D., & Minichiello, V. (2004). Method: Factors associated with
bulk billing: experience from a general practitioners’ survey in New South Wales.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 28(2), 135-139.
Khwaja, A. (2010). Estimating willingness to pay for Medicare using a dynamic life-cycle model
of demand for health insurance. Journal of Econometrics, 156(1), 130-147.

MEDICARE BULK BILLING 4

Kronenfeld, J. J. (2011). Medicare. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood.
Richardson, J. (1987). Does bulk billing cause abuse of Medicare? Community Health Studies.
11:98–107.

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