How long does it take to get paid? 

How long does it take to get paid? Anaesthetist and intensivists

After providing exceptional anaesthetic or intensive care, you deserve to be rewarded. So how long will it take to see the fruits of your labour? In this blog article, we’ll help answer the burning question – how long does it take to get paid?

First things first 

Obviously, getting paid relies on you getting the necessary information to your billing agent. It’s sometimes worth waiting a day or two to submit it, in case you realise you made an error or you remember an item number you could have billed. Once you submit your billing to your agent, it’s then up to them to get it to the people who pay the bills.  

At Solo Practice Management, you can expect your billing to be dispatched within two business days – often sooner. We pride ourselves on efficient and accurate account processing, so you get the maximum rebate as soon as possible. 

Health funds 

Because we like to be transparent and honest with our doctors, we’re going to let you in on a little secret – you know how some billing agents will advertise how they submit claims electronically health funds for faster payments? Well, this is just a marketing ploy because all billing agents do. Health fund claims are submitted electronically through a government system called Eclipse, which means It’s received as soon as it’s submitted. It’s nothing special or unique, it’s just the industry standard. Now you know! 

From here, how long it can take to get paid is determined by the health fund and Medicare. Medicare will usually approve the claim, and then the health fund will pay it. Some funds are quick, and you’ll see the funds in your account within one or two business days (such as Medibank Private and Teacher’s Health Fund), other will routinely take two to three weeks (BUPA and NIB). There’s nothing we can do to speed this process up as it’s determined by the health funds. 

So far, simple enough, right? In 90% of cases, it is. But the other 10% can be tricky. There’s many, many, many reasons why payment might be delayed. Medicare may reject your claim (sometimes for no logical reason) or approve only part of the claim. 

Health funds all do different things in their approval processes – for example, some funds won’t process your claim until the hospital has submitted theirs. Patients may not be financial with their insurance at the time the claim is made. And like Medicare, there can often be no reason at all! Health funds from time to time will also have technical issues or might short pay you. 

Here’s why having a quality, full-service billing agent is important. First, routine monitoring of your accounts is paramount. At the first sign of trouble, they need to be followed up, and if necessary, repeated follow ups may be required.

Second, following up rejected claims takes time – and a lot of it. There are thousands of reasons why your funds won’t make it to you in a timely manner, and a great billing agent will both reduce the risk of this happening in the first place, will instantly identify the cause and know exactly how to deal with it when it does happen. This saves you the frustration and hours of working out how to fix it and then chasing it up. Great billing agents will get you your money as soon as possible while also saving your time and money when it all goes wrong. 

Your time is precious so letting an expert take care of it is smart. This is why many of our doctors ditch the “DIY software subscription” approach and swith to a trusted partner in Solo Practice Management. So unless you love scratching your head trying to work things out and waiting on hold, it’s a great idea to let the experts sort it all out for you. 


Ever got a bill and forgotten to pay it? Or not want to pay it? Or not agree with it? Patients do too! 

It is crucial that the entire financial process of private practice billing is fine-tuned to encourage patients to pay their accounts and avoid bad debts.  

What about if you no gap everyone and don’t bother with IFC? This is a common scenario and will often lead to a bad debt. Remember, just because a patient has a shiny health insurance card, doesn’t mean the fund is going to pay your claim, and there’s plenty of reasons for them not to. 

At Solo Practice Management, it all starts with a patient centred approach to the financial side of their care. Years of experience and hundreds of thousands of accounts means that our systems and procedures are best practice and market leading, continuously evolving for the best results. We’ll get all the patient details, check their insurance is valid, send them detailed informed financial consent, make sure they consent to their fees and empower them to understand their fees and insurance so when it comes to getting their account, there are no surprises and they’re happy to pay.

We’ll get pre-payment where necessary and chase the patient when they don’t pay on time – a time-critical process that ensures that bad debts are avoided. This is a complex aspect of billing, and if you’re planning on doing it yourself, you’ll need to be prepared to have uncomfortable conversations with patients. Just like the health funds, it’s frustrating and time consuming. 

We aim to have patients all paid up within 2 to 3 weeks, some will take a little longer but the important thing to remember is that getting paid by patients is reliant on good systems, and not just sending an invoice. 

Workcover and other third parties 

The last group of people that pay you are Workcover, and other insurers. A sound understanding of what they need and the potential problems they can throw up facilitates prompt payment. Different insurers have different requirements, including additional paperwork (which nobody likes!). Some insurers will question item numbers which may also delay payment. But we’ll keep on top of them, so you get your funds sooner.  

Insurers change, like members of the Australian Defence Force, so knowledge and systems are key to adapting. And we can often advise our clients about opportunities to increase their billing.  

Generally speaking, these insurers will remit funds around four weeks after invoicing. Some can be a little difficult and need constant monitoring. We keep a close on all third-party accounts and we know who the slow payers are, so we can get you your cash as soon as possible. 

Summary of how long does it takes to get paid

The length of time between you providing care and getting paid for it is highly variable and depends on who’s paying the bill, and can vary from a few days to a few months. Having an expert in the field on your side will help you get paid sooner, and will save you plenty of time and frustration than if you do it yourself. Therefore, choose your billing provider carefully, and always think of it as an investment in your business and supporting your cash flow.