Green light for practice-wide fees

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has rubber-stamped the ability of GPs working in the same practice to discuss their prices and establish practice-wide fees.

The commission said that GPs in a practice were "technically competitors" and setting agreed prices across the practice could breach the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

However, it added: "[If] a group of GPs operates as a single practice, the likely benefits of permitting practice-wide price setting are likely to outweigh any public detriments. For example patients will know the fees they are likely to be charged, regardless of which particular doctor they see in the practice."

The exemption from possible breaches of the Competition and Consumer Act because of price setting comes in to force on March 15 and will run for five years