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Telehealth is not quite the colt from old Regret but it sure as hell has got away

19 May 2020

Published in Pulse + IT Magazine

Written by Margaret Faux and Heather Grain on 18 May 2020

Telehealth has bolted away as fast as the colt from old Regret as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, says he wants telehealth to continue post …

Is forcing GPs to bulk-bill the MBS Covid items legal?

6 May 2020

There is a clause for GPs using the new telehealth items: patients defined as ‘susceptible’ to COVID-19 must be bulk-billed (no exceptions). 

Is this legal? Margaret Faux, an expert on Medicare and its mysteries, offers her view.

The roll out of new COVID-19 MBS te…

Frenetic law making during the COVID-19 pandemic: the impact on doctors, patients and the Medicare system

24 Apr 2020

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken even Medicare’s pillars to their core and placed more than a virus under a microscope. Bulk billing is now the subject of experimentation in a petri dish of its own.”

Margaret Faux unpacks the constitutional barrier to mandated bulk billing …

Billing in Byzantium

13 Mar 2020

Delighted to announce that our CEO & Founder, Margaret Faux appears on the latest episode of Pomegranate Health; the podcast from the The Royal Australasian College of Physicians about the culture of Medicine. Australia has one of the best value health systems in the world, b…

Published in the Journal of Law and Medicine (2019) 27 JLM 66

10 Nov 2019

Medicare Billing, Law and Practice: Complex, Incomprehensible and Beginning to Unravel
Margaret Faux, Jonathan Wardle and Jon Adams*

Australia’s Medicare is still widely considered one of the world’s best health systems. However, continual political tinkering for 40 years h…

Medicare billing, law and practice: Complex, incomprehensible and beginning to unravel

12 Jun 2019

Holding up a mirror to Medicare – do we like what we see?

“This article is one for the serious Medicare, medical billing and health insurance nerds. In it I have unpacked the Australian Medicare and medical billing legislation and demonstrated where the gaps are in p…

‘Unnecessary risk’: GPs dumped in Medicare muddle

15 Nov 2018

The study referenced in the Australian Doctor article and published in BMJ Open 2018 was led by Synapse CEO Margaret Faux.

GPs are being exposed to the “unnecessary risk” of falling foul of Medicare rules because so few organisations are willing to provide guidance on ho…

Law trumps Medicare advice on bulk-bill vouchers

8 Nov 2018

You’re likely guilty of this, so beware: the law trumps Medicare advice on bulk-bill vouchers
Having patients sign the vouchers – and then filing them in a place other than the bin – is more important than you might think.
Make one false move with Medicare and you’ll end up i…

Healthcare’s out-of-pocket crisis

1 Nov 2018

Jennifer Dogget, Editor for Croakey, is writing a series of health columns for Inside Story. In this article she weighs in on out of pocket expenses with quotes from Synapse CEO Margaret Faux:
Fast-rising medical expenses are restricting access to healthcare and increasing long-…

Research investigates medical billing literacy in Australia

30 Aug 2018

Of all the things a trainee medical practitioner must learn, how to bill their patients is one of the most problematic.
A single Medicare service can be the subject of more than 30 different payment rates, myriad rules and strict penalties, including custodial sentences, for no…

Synapse serves as successful example for DFAT’s India Economic Strategy

31 Jul 2018

The following is an excerpt from the DFAT India Economic Strategy by Mr Peter N Varghese AO

Synapse: A successful model of integrated service delivery for Australia and India

Australian company Synapse Medical Services has found an opportunity to …

Who teaches medical billing? A national cross-sectional survey of Australian medical education stakeholders

27 Jul 2018

Everyone involved in the practice of healthcare is expected to know how to bill correctly yet it’s not being taught in any systematic or organised fashion by anyone.

Synapse Principal and CEO Margaret Faux has been studying this issue in her PhD thesis, this article published …

Synapse hopes to restore trust between patients, providers and payers

25 Jul 2018

Pulse+IT article – Synapps MBS launch
Written by Kate McDonald
First published by Pulse+IT on 9/7/2018

Sydney medical billing, clinical coding and medical transcription specialist Synapse has launched a new rules engine-based app called Synapps MBS, aimed at ensuring Medic…

Shining some light on bulk billing and #OutOfPocket costs

25 Mar 2018

Fourth in series – Articles on out of pocket medical expenses.

The legalities and practicalities behind bulk billing generally are not well understood, but in her latest contribution to Croakey’s ongoing #OutOfPocket series, Margaret Faux, aims to throw some illuminating l…

It’s enough to make you swear: the complexities of medical billing and out of pocket costs

27 Feb 2018

Third in series – Articles on out of pocket medical expenses.

It is quite possible that reading this article about the complexities of medical fees will furrow your brow and possibly even give you a headache. The issues it canvasses left at least one hospital executive sighi…

‘No-gap’ does not guarantee there will be no gap

22 Feb 2018

Second in series – Articles on out of pocket medical expenses

In her previous post in Croakey’s #OutOfPocket series, Margaret Faux acquainted us with Section 51 (xxiiiA) of the Australian Constitution, which enshrines doctors’ right to set their own fees, regardless of gov…

Out of pocket costs: a critical health issue to watch in 2018 – but first, some history

23 Jan 2018

First in series – Articles on out of pocket medical expenses

Out of pocket healthcare costs are set to be one of the health politics/policy issues for 2018. In this recent Croakey post author Margaret Faux provides some history on the topic along with an outline of the issue…

Private Health Insurance: A look under the bonnet

7 Dec 2017

Australian private health insurers (PHI) have an image problem. They are never out of the headlines for long, are criticised for inappropriately profiteering from a $6 billion government handout and still their products seem to offer poor value and satisfy no one. Margaret Faux d…

Behind the headlines on hospital waiting times lies a murky story about lack of structural accountability

20 Jun 2017

Recent Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report reveals that patients in public hospitals with private health insurance have short waiting times for elective surgery than those without private health insurance. Margaret explores behind the headlines in this article.


Increasing Medicare rebates in the bush will not decrease patient out of pocket costs. Here’s why.

20 Jan 2017

A Ministerial Advisory Committee on private health reform has proposed an increase in Medicare rebates as a way of reducing out-of-pocket costs when rural patients require inpatient services. It seems logical but will it really achieve its objective? In this article Margaret expl…

Lies, damned lies and Medicare bulk-billing rates

28 Nov 2016

In this article recently published in The Medical Republic, Margaret Faux discusses the myth that 85% of GP services are bulk billed. Please click on the below link to read this fascinating article.…

Privatising the Medicare payment system: What are the risks?

8 Jul 2016

In this podcast recorded live on ABC overnights Margaret Faux discusses the federal government’s plans to privatise Medicare in the context of the 2016 Federal Election….

Is after hours care keeping patients out of emergency departments?

4 Jul 2016

Medicare expenditure on after hours GP services has risen dramatically in the past year. But does it really keep patients out of Emergency Departments. Margaret Faux chatted with Ellen Leadbeater on 2SER FM’s Think Health about the rise in after hours care. Listen to the full tra…

Privatisation of Medicare is risky business

28 Jun 2016

We have come to expect that our politicians will dismiss each other’s policies as scaremongering when it’s expedient to do so. But we demand more of our journalists, whose job it is to provide balance and perspective. Last night the ABC let us down in this regard when it comes …

If bulk billing stops patients will pay full fees upfront

17 Jun 2016

Margaret Faux’s recent Croakey post, republished on the Medical Republic, explaining the devastating impact an end to bulk billing will have on patients. Read the full article on…

Medicare rebate freeze will hit patients harder than they realise

6 Jun 2016

In this recent Croakey article, Margaret Faux explains the real impact of the freeze on patients and how use of the term ‘co-payment’ is misleading and often poorly understood.

Read the story in full on…

Does Medicare Need Modernising?

27 Jan 2016

Medicare is one of those things that’s distinctly Australian but does it need to adapt to the times? Margaret Faux is a lawyer, registered nurse and founder of Synapse Medical Services.

Her PhD is entitled “Claiming and compliance under the Medicare Benefits Schedule: A critic…

Think: Health Radio Interview 2ser 107.3 – two stories you have probably heard very little about

26 Jun 2015

2ser 107.3 take a look at the health professional behind your Medicare transaction.

How knowledgable are they about rebates? Could the government save money by investing in Medicare training for doctors? They speak to Margaret Faux, a PhD student in the Faculty of Health at th…

Seeking a Cure, The Private Practice Magazine

3 Apr 2014

In putting out an SOS for the Medicare Benefits Scheme, Margaret Faux says what we need is a thorough examination of the way it is used, along with a truly sustainable solution.
Seeking a Cure (488 KB)

Number Crunch, The Private Practice Magazine

12 Dec 2013

Medicare provider numbers can prove to be a minefield for anyone practising in more than one location. There’s a lot of myth, not a lot of substance and woe betide anyone who dares to travel beyond the horizon. By deciphering fact from fiction, Margaret Faux provides some clari…