Patient Information - FAQ
Do I need a referral to make an appointment?
Effectively yes - you need a referral from a medical practitioner (e.g. your GP) if you wish to claim a Medicare rebate, as Medicare will not pay rebates without a valid referral. The referral needs to indicate the problem you are being referred for. You can attend appointments without a referral but may not get any money refunded from Medicare.
Who is eligible for the Concession fee?
Health-care card holders, pensioners and full-time tertiary students.
Why is there no bulk-billing?
The patients listed above are offered concession rates, but they are still higher than the Medicare rebate, so bulk billing cannot be used. The federal government sets the Medicare rebates for different types of doctors. The Medicare rates for Sports Physicians are significantly lower than most other physicians, and in fact are substantially lower than General Practitioner rebates. The Federal government chose to drop sports physician consultation rebates substantially in November 2010 without any explanation. Please read the Sydney Morning Herald article by Roy Masters "Medicare rebate cut adds insult to injury" for more information.
If you feel that this is an important issue and would like to complain to government bodies about this discrepancy, by all means write to the Federal Health Minister and ask why your Medicare rebate is lower just because you are trying to increase the amount you exercise.
Does my private health insurance cover any of these fees?
No. The Federal government has determined that it is illegal for private health insurance to cover doctors’ fees outside of hospitals.
Are the gaps eligible for the Medicare Safety Net?
Yes. If you anticipate that you or your family may have gaps totalling more than several hundred dollars per year, please save the receipts as you may be able to claim some of these under the Safety Net Scheme. For more info, visit Medicare Australia's page on the Medicare Safety Net.
What time will be given for my consultation?
Times vary but they are generous (and in fact for the time allocated, the consultation fees are quite low compared to other specialists). Generally, for an initial consultation you will be given a 30-40 minute appointment and for a review consultation you will be given a 15-20 minute appointment.
Will I need to organise follow-up treatment?
Please book a review appointment if you are awaiting the results of tests or scans or you need further treatment. If tests are ordered at a consultation and the results are sent to the practice, the doctor will call if the results are quite abnormal or unexpected. If the results are normal or the outcome of the test does not require urgent follow-up, the doctor will wait until your review appointment before discussing them. Follow-up communication of a very straightforward nature (e.g. answering a single question or passing on scan results) can be done over the phone without charge. The doctor cannot engage in lengthy phone calls or reply to emails, so if you have anything other than a simple follow-up question you need to organise a face-to-face appointment.
Will I need to pay anything extra for injections?
There is an extra charge for injections, but when done under ultrasound with a doctor’s referral asking for an ultrasound-guided injection, there will be an additional Medicare rebate. The cost of substances to be injected will be included in the injection fee on most occasions (cortisone, platelet rich plasma, glucose, polidocanol). Hyaluronan gel injections need to be supplied by the patient as these are quite expensive.
When do I need to pay?
Fees are payable immediately following the consultation. We accept cash, EFTPOS and Visa/Mastercard.