Newsletter – February 2012


The New Year is already well underway and Synapse has big plans for 2012.  In the next few months, I will be in touch about some very exciting developments.  (Who said medical billing was dull?)

A recent story in the media saw doctors attacked for abusing Medicare.  Having a lot of experience with Medicare on behalf of the honest majority of the profession, we couldn’t help but weigh into the debate.  You can read what we had to say in this newsletter.

And we’re all a-twitter about, well, twitter – and everything else to do with social media.  We know that not everyone wants to hang out on Facebook or watch Youtube, but practice managers have already been asking us about it, and we’re ready to embrace the future.

Why not join us!

Margaret Faux
Synapse Medical Services



Dear Editor

A recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age referred to investigations into serious breaches of Medicare.  Quoting Dr Tony Webber, the article implied that large numbers of doctors were rorting the system.

Incensed on behalf of our clients, we put fingers to keyboard to set the record straight.  Fortunately, our letter was published in the SMH.  For those of you who weren’t able to see it in print, here’s what we said:

The views of Tony Webber (Medicare Abuse Rife SMH 16 Jan) are coloured by his dealings with the small minority of breaches he has investigated.  As someone who has dealt with Medicare on behalf of doctors for nearly 30 years, I can tell you that the scheme’s rules are labyrinthine, with hefty penalties for those who unwittingly make mistakes. I regularly receive calls from doctors in a panic because they are too fearful to submit a claim in case they are in error.

Seeking clarification from Medicare Provider Liaison is frustrating and confounding.  Different officers give different opinions for the same problem.  Obviously, even they don’t understand the regulations and they don’t have to worry about paying the fines if their advice is wrong.  For more complex assessments or rulings, the wait can take months.

The tax office seems to be able to offer a prompt written ruling and reliable advice over the phone, although I guess it might be related to the money flowing in rather than out. Dr Webber would do well to look within Medicare for some answers to its woes before lashing out at the profession.

Margaret Faux


Let’s get sociable!

Synapse is embracing social media.  What this means for you is quick, brief, accessible information.  We’ll be tweeting regularly to let you know the latest news or to alert you to something of interest.  So follow us on twitter by going to!/SynapseMedical

You can also join us on Facebook where you’ll be able to start discussions or join forums.  In fact, we’ve already got a debate going in response to the above Letter to the Editor.  You can engage with your colleagues and share gripes, insights, and seek solutions to problems.  From a customer service perspective, the more you use the site, the better we understand your needs and can improve what we provide to you.


Loud and Clear

A few of our Dictamus users are finding that their files are occasionally not transmitting correctly. Sometimes the recording jumps or has stuttering sections, which makes those sections of the sound files difficult to decipher and therefore transcribe accurately.

To solve the problem, the MP4 file can be transformed into a Wav file.  The downside of this is that Wav files are bigger, so sending them increases your data usage.  At our end, the bigger files affect our data storage.

The real answer is to avoid the problem from the start by treating your iPhone like a mini computer.  Don’t leave it running all the time.  Turn it off and then reboot it by simply turning it on again.  Simple.

This only seems to be an issue with earlier iPhone models, such as the iPhone original or 3G.  Nevertheless, switching all mobile phones on and off is good practice.  Here’s the tip from a Dictamus FAQ.

The problem appears to occur whenever an older device is heavily processing background tasks. Background processing occurs mostly when there’s a low main memory condition. The only way to free up main memory is to restart the device. If you use such an older device, then we suggest that you restart your device once in a while in order to avoid low memory conditions. To restart the device, press and hold the power button (near the headphone jack) until a red slider labelled “Power off” appears. Release the button, slide the slider to the right and wait for the screen to go all black, which indicates that the device has powered off. Press and hold the power button for about two seconds until a silver Apple logo appears on your screen. The device is booting up, this usually takes about 20-30 seconds.



Job at Synapse

We are recruiting for a new Sydney based team member.  If you know anyone who might be interested in joining us, you can send them this link to our job advert on SEEK.


CMO opportunity

An established private hospital in western Sydney is looking for a vocationally registered GP to provide medical cover to 57 inpatients (medical, surgical and rehabilitation) on a daily basis. Hours are very flexible. If you are interested or know of anyone that may be interested, please contact M: 0415 272 375.

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