How is this possible?
Currently, for patients on a medical scheme, we submit claims on behalf of patients to the medical scheme for reimbursement. This however, presents two problems:
1. There is a cost to implement and maintain the systems required to offer this service.
2. We are often faced with a situation where medical schemes do not pay for the services we render because there are no, or limited funds in a patient’s medical savings account. The outstanding balance owed to NiteDoc then becomes the responsibility of the patient to settle, with costs being incurred to recover this debt.
Over the past few years, the debt outstanding to NiteDoc has become difficult to manage and collect and as such, we have been forced to write off significant amounts of debt. Unfortunately, this is not sustainable and the only solution to maintain the status quo would be to increase the consultation fee in anticipation of bad debt accumulating. This however, is not fair to patients, and a better solution exists.
What is the solution?
By eliminating the collection cost of monies from medical schemes, and then patients, where the outstanding amount becomes their responsibility, we no longer need to incorporate these costs into our consultation fee, thus reducing the consultation fee to R530, an 8% reduction.
In order to do this, NiteDoc will be converting to a cash practice.
Essentially, a cash practice means that patients will need to settle their account by card or cash at the time of the service, as is the current arrangement for patients not on a medical scheme.
For patients on a medical scheme, it means that you will need to claim back from your medical scheme for services rendered. To make this process easy for you to do, we will ensure that an invoice reflecting a zero balance (i.e. paid in full) will be emailed to you within 48 hours of the service being provided, for submission to your medical scheme for reimbursement to you.
When will the new system be implemented?
All new patients, and existing cash patients visiting NiteDoc from 1 April 2017, will be charged the lower consultation fee of R530 and will be treated as cash patients.
All existing patients on a medical scheme will have two options:
1. You can choose to switch immediately to the new cash practice rate and pay R530 per consultation.
2. You can remain on the current billing structure and consultation fee, until 1 June, when all existing patients will automatically be switched to the new billing method and fee of R530.
*An important note for patients on the Discovery Medical Scheme; we will continue be a Discovery Network GP provider with the associated benefits unchanged. All that changes is the method of submission of claims to the scheme, as described above.
Yours in good health and affordable health care
The NiteDoc Team