Bulk billing is a process whereby a medical practitioner directly bills Medicare for a patient’s medical or allied health service.
When bulk billing for the provision of a service:
- the practitioner accepts the benefit paid by Medicare for the service, and
- the patient assigns their right to a Medicare benefit to the practitioner.
A patient’s right to a Medicare benefit can be assigned to a practitioner by completing the approved assignment of benefit form. The form must be signed by the patient or another lawfully authorised person (such as a parent, guardian or power of attorney appointee). Patients or their authorised persons must not sign a blank or incomplete assignment of benefit form.
Can I charge bulk billed patient additional fees?
If you bulk bill a patient, you cannot charge for additional expenses relating to the service, including:
- consumables (such as bandages and dressings)
- record keeping fees
- bookings fees for that service
- administration or registration fees
An exception is a charge for vaccinations from supplies held at your practice (if the vaccine is not available to the patient for free through Commonwealth or state funding agreements, or through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
How long do I have to lodge a bulk bill claim?
A bulk billing claim must be lodged within two years from the date the service is provided. The two-year lodgement period will only be extended in rare cases. For services provided more than two years ago, read about bulk bill late lodgements.
How do I lodge a bulk bill claim electronically?
Bulk bill claims can be submitted electronically through:
A separate DB1 header form needs to be completed to claim both inpatient and out of hospital services.
How does Medicare pay a bulk bill claim?
Bulk bill and DVA (Department of Veterans’ Affairs) claims are paid through EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer). Medicare no longer pays providers by cheque.
The EFT details for the practice must be provided at the time of making a claim. For practices with multiple locations, the EFT details for each location must be provided.
To register for EFT payments, complete and submit:
- Online Claiming Provider Agreement Form (HW027)
- Provider registration for Electronic Funds Transfer payments form (HW029)
The Online Claiming Provider Agreement is also used for registering for ECLIPSE (Electronic Claim Lodgement and Information Processing Environment). Read more about Simplified Billing and ECLIPSE online claims.
How do I amend a bulk bill claim?
To delete a claim on the same day it is lodged, call the Medicare provider enquiries line.
Claims that are less than two years old may be adjusted by submitting a manual request for adjustment, which comprises:
- a new assignment of benefit form with the correct information, signed by the patient or their authorised person
- an Application for bulk bill claim adjustment form (DB018)
A new assignment of benefit form must accompany an request for adjustment of a bulk bill claim.
Contact Medicare for bulk bill claim enquiries
For assistance with electronic bulk bill claims and adjustments, contact the Medicare eBusiness Service Centre.