Dr Tan uses the fee schedule that is issued annually by the Australian Medical Association (AMA) for all consultations and operations. Please note that private health insurance does not cover outpatient medical consultations but only inpatient consultations and treatment. Only part of the fees will be rebated by Medicare, leaving a gap or out-of-pocket cost, the exact amount of which is available on request. A 100% late payment fee may be levied on accounts that remain unpaid after 3 months, without good reason.
For first consultations or consultations for a brand new complaint, the fee in independent of the length of the consultation. However, the charges for second and subsequent consultations vary, depending on the amount of time that Dr Tan spends with you. Full payment of Dr Tan’s fee is required from all patients on the day of consultation by EFTPOS, credit card (Visa or Mastercard), cheque or cash. Her practice does not bill Workcover insurers or the Transport Accident Commission but you will get a receipt that you can take to these organisations in order to get some of your expenses back. Her practice also does not bulk bill Medicare. A receipt will be provided to you and you may submit it to Medicare, your Workcover insurer or the Transport Accident Commission in order to claim a rebate. Appointments that are cancelled without providing a minimum of 24 hours notice, will incur a penalty of 50% of the consultation fee.
As mentioned, Dr Tan’s surgical fees are determined by the AMA fee schedule. This means that there will be a gap or an out-of-pocket cost, over and above the Medicare rebate. These fees can be negotiated in special circumstances. Except in emergencies, a written quotation of her surgical fees and the estimated out-of-pocket cost will be provided to those patients who are interested in having surgery. In keeping with standard practice, patients will be asked to sign a form to acknowledge their acceptance of the fees and then will need to pay the estimated out-of-pocket costs as detailed on the quotation before arrangements for surgery will be made. Most surgery requires the involvement of at least one other doctor: an anaesthetist, and often, a surgical assistant as well. These doctors are all independent practitioners, and their bills will be separate to Dr Tan’s. Upon request, the name and contact details of the anaesthetist will be provided to patients before their surgery, so that patients may speak to the anaesthetist directly about the anaesthetic fees and any gap payable. The surgical assistant’s fee is usually 20% of the surgeon’s fees.