90 day pay doctor cheque scheme

The scheme allows us to cancel a patient cheque for some Health Professionals when they do not receive it, or it hasn’t been banked after 90 days.

How the scheme works

When a patient’s unpaid or partially paid medical account is lodged for payment, we send the patient a Pay Doctor Via Claimant (PDVC) cheque. The patient is required to forward the cheque to you for payment.

If you do not receive the cheque or it hasn’t been banked after 90 days, we cancel it. The Health Insurance Act 1973 allows us to pay you the Medicare schedule fee by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).

Eligible health professionals

General practitioners

For general practitioners (GPs) who submit claims electronically, there is no registration requirement to access the scheme. We use Medicare Online, Medicare Easyclaim or ECLIPSE to receive unpaid patient accounts electronically.

GPs who submit manual patient claims can register for the scheme by completing the application form and returning it by post or fax.

Specialists, consultant physicians and pathologists

To participate in the scheme, specialists, consultant physicians and pathologists registered with Medicare, must submit claims electronically. For more information on electronic claiming see Medicare Easyclaim

Ineligible practitioners

Allied health professionals, optometrists and dentists are not eligible to participate in the scheme.

Eligible health professionals Lodge claims manually Need to register for scheme
GP Yes Yes
Specialist or consultant physician Not eligible No
Eligible health professionals Lodge claims electronically Automatically eligible for scheme
GP Yes Yes
Specialist, consultant physician, pathologist Yes Yes

Patient authority

For an unpaid or partially paid account, legislation requires a patient or claimant to submit a request for a PDVC cheque. The cheque will be issued to you in lieu of payment.

To submit a claim on behalf of a patient, you must:

  • clearly inform the patient of what will happen, and
  • include written authority from the patient, with
    • the patient’s signature and
    • the date of the claim

An example of written authority could be:

I authorise the practitioner, who will render services, to submit my unpaid or partially paid account to Medicare. I understand that Medicare will assess my claim and issue a cheque to the practitioner for the Medicare benefit.

Patient signature  ___________________

Date                    ___/___/___

We recommend that your practice retain evidence of the patient’s authority for audit purposes.

Bank account details

We use the same bank account you provided for the payment of bulk bill claims.

Each week we will email you a statement. The statement will list the previous week’s EFT transactions made under the 90 day cheque scheme.

To register to receive payment by EFT or to update your bank account details, complete the Provider registration for Electronic Funds Transfers payments form.

You can subscribe to receive emailed statements through Health Professionals Online Services mail box.

We are not liable for any bank fees or charges incurred where you present a cheque to your bank 90 days or more after the date of issue.

Page last updated: 5 February 2016

This information was printed Wednesday 28 September 2016 from humanservices.gov.au/health-professionals/services/medicare/90-day-pay-doctor-cheque-scheme It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.