Private health insurance does not cover the cost of any outpatient services. This includes appointments, x-rays and scans. A proportion of these services are likely to be covered by Medicare.
We charge a fee for the first and subsequent consultations. This fee is variable, depending on the condition you have and the length of your appointment. This fee must be paid at the time of consultation by cash, cheque or credit card. We do not issue accounts.
Medicare will refund some of the cost. We have the HIC Medicare system so if you have your bank details registered with them; we can process your Medicare claim at the time of your appointment.
There will be a small gap charged for patients with this type of insurance. This is because Medicare do not pay us a portion of the fee and the insurer does not pay enough to meet our costs. You will be given a quotation for surgery, anaesthetic and hospital fees and must pay in full prior to the operation.
The costs of private health care and the Medicare system can be very difficult for people to understand. In the private system there are several ways that doctors can be paid. Many people believe that all private doctors charge large out of pocket fees for surgery. In this practise, this is not the case.
We largely work as ‘no-gap’ doctors. This means that the surgeon fee for your operation will be sent to your health fund and there will be no ‘gap’ or extra amount of money to pay. You will not receive a bill from us. There are always exceptions to this and decisions regarding this policy are made on a case-by-case basis. If there is an out of pocket cost from us, you will be informed in writing prior to your surgery.
If your surgery is technically demanding we may be assisted by another consultant surgeon from the group. The remuneration for the assistant is very low for the expertise required and as a consequence there may be an out-of-pocket charge for the assistant only.
There may be other out-of-pocket fees from your anaesthetist and any other specialists who are asked to look after you. You should ask them ahead of time for any out-of-pocket costs. Ask us who will be performing your anaesthetic and you can make enquiries with them about any out-of-pocket expenses.
If you have an excess on your health insurance policy, you will be asked for this payment when you enter the hospital.
There may be extra costs for x-ray, pharmacy and pathology. You have a right to gain ‘informed financial consent’. Fees from other practitioners are beyond our control and you should ask for the costs from each person who is asked to look after you. Patients have a choice when it comes to paying for their health care and you are fully within your rights to shop around.
If you do not live in Brisbane, you will be responsible for all accommodation, hotel, meals and transport costs for you and your family. There is some monetary assistance available for private patients through the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme (PTSS) providing assistance to patients and in some cases their carers, to enable them to access specialist medical services that are not available locally.
Please see Queensland Health’s Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme site for details http://www.health.qld.gov.au/iptu/html/ptss.asp.