Informed Financial Consent
At PMC Surgical Consulting Rooms, our surgeons provide services to both privately insured and public (uninsured) patients. We are committed to a philosophy of providing ethical healthcare with equal access to our services regardless of private or public patient status.
Please note that the outline below only applies to the services provided by our General Surgeons (Dr Manny Cao, Dr Hann Liew & Dr Angus Lee). For the services of all other specialists - Yarra Vascular Surgeons, Dr Samuel Hardwick and Dr Edward Shelton, please contact our office directly.
The initial consultation fee (MBS Item Number 104) is the same for both privately insured and public (uninsured) patients referred to our rooms and currently is $170, with a Medicare rebate of $76.80.
Subsequent consultations fees (MBS Item Number 105) are also the same for both privately insured and public patients and currently is $90, with a Medicare rebate of $38.20.
The consultation fee not only covers the services provided by the surgeon directly to patients, but also the costs involved with administrative expenses of running our practice. Additionally, after each consultation, correspondence and reports are sent directly to the referring doctor and the consultation fee is inclusive of the expenses associated with this service.
We provide bulk billing consultative services to a limited number of patients in financial hardship.
Privately Insured Patients
Our surgeons are 'no gap' providers for most procedures (such as endoscopy) except for complex surgery. As such, there are no 'out of pocket' expenses to be paid to our surgeons for privately insured patients for the majority of general surgical procedures. A 'gap', however, may be consequent to low level private health insurance policies. Where a surgical assistant is required, a small fee may be requested to reflect this requirement. Informed financial consent will be given for those procedures that are complex and requiring prolonged inpatient stays and our surgeons are happy to discuss this, where applicable, with patients on an individual basis. Post-operative patients are not billed any fees for their subsequent visits within six weeks following procedures other than endoscopy, as this is regarded as 'usual after care'.
Where a 'gap' is charged, we consider this a modest 'out of pocket' compared to the recommendations of the Australian Medical Association. The 'gap' is to reflect the rising cost of providing practice and administrative facilities against the ongoing reductions by the Federal Government and Private Health Insurers to reimburse our surgeons for surgery and procedures.
We do not charge any gaps for DVA patients requiring surgical procedures.
We do not participate nor endorse the practice of requesting any additional 'booking' or 'patient management' fee, other than those outlined above for the initial and subsequent consultations.
Privately insured patients may be expected to pay an excess to their Private Health Fund depending upon their level of cover, as well as a gap to their anaesthetists, whose services are separate to those provided by our surgeons.
Public (Uninsured) Patients
Public (uninsured) patients requiring surgical procedures are either expedited through Castlemaine Health or waitlisted at Bendigo Health, at no extra cost other than the consultation fees outlined above. Our surgeons are paid directly by the public healthcare facility who are funded by Medicare for any procedures performed on uninsured patients.
Our surgeons directly perform all aspects of procedures expedited through Castlemaine Health, whilst at Bendigo Health - a major regional teaching hospital - components of the surgery may be performed by a trainee who is under the direct supervision of a fully qualifed surgeon at all times.
Office Skin Lesion Excisions
When skin lesions are removed in our office, a small fee is charged separate to the consultation fee, which depends upon the final pathology results. This additional 'procedural' fee reflects the need for our practice to provide the appropriate sterilised instruments, suture material, local anaesthetic and assistance of a Registered Nurse to carry out the excision in the office.
As each case is different and there is an associated Medicare rebate, our staff can provide a prior indication to patients requesting these services.