The cost of your first consultation is AUS$315.00. In this consultation I will quiz you about your symptoms, examine your spine if appropriate, examine your x-rays and we can discuss your situation.
All subsequent consultations to review test results, consent for surgery, look after WorkCover issues etc. cost AUS$135.00
If surgery has been performed, all subsequent consultations for the first 6 months are free. Injections for pain management are not surgery.
For consultations that take only a few minutes and that involve no administration work, Medicare is usually billed with no expense to you.
Medicare, Health Funds and Gap Payments
It is a sad fact that in Australia, Medicare and health funds do not cover the full cost of surgery. Almost all kinds of surgery these days incur an out of pocket expense (called a 'gap' payment) to the patient. For modern minimally invasive spine surgery this is especially true.
Unfortunately, at least from a financial perspective, spine surgery has progressed so rapidly that the administrative side of Medicare is not able to even fashion appropriate codes to reflect what we do, and of course health fund reimbursements are based on those codes. Modern spine surgery necessitates extensive training, includes extra risks that we personally take on as surgeons, such as exposure to radiation and mandates a significantly more expensive business model to safeguard the interests of our patient's and ourselves, and is generally more time consuming.
Our fees reflect all these factors and unfortunately are significantly higher than the rebate from Medicare and most health funds.