Dr. Cameron Cooke Orthopaedic Surgeon Acute Injuries Clinic
For Appointments Call Dr. Cameron Cooke: 07 3010 5755
 
Patient Info

Fee Structure Information

Firstly before we outline our fees, it is important you understand how fees are charged.

In 1985, the Commonwealth Government introduced a scheme called the Medicare Benefits Scheme which covers all medical procedures for which there is a Medicare rebate. It lists item numbers for operations and consultations which then assigns a schedule fee and a benefit – (which you as a patient can claim under the Medicare scheme).

The Medicare rebate is set at 75% of the Schedule fee for in-hospital expenses (such as operations) and 85% of the Schedule fee for out-of-hospital expenses (such as consultations).

Over the years the Medicare rebate has not kept in line with CPI.

Now, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) set its own Schedule of fees, which has increased to keep pace with inflation (the CPI). This fee is considerably more than the Medicare rebate.

With all this in mind and as a way of reducing costs to his patients, Dr Cooke has set his own private fee which usually sits in between the Medicare Schedule fee and the AMA fee.

Dr Cooke does take special circumstances into consideration, so if you feel it necessary, it is important that you speak to Dr Cooke about your fees.

Dr Cooke also sees patients from Workcover, DVA and those who require medico- legal assessments. Separate fees schedules are used for these patients and are typically billed directly to the appropriate organization.

Dr Cooke does not offer discounts for Health Care Card holders. He attends Princess Alexandra Hospital Public Out-patients for those in financial need.

Consultation costs:

First consultation

When you visit Dr Cooke for the first time, you will be charged a long consultation fee as Dr Cooke needs to spend extra time with you gathering your medical history. You will receive a portion of this visit’s fee back through the Medicare rebate.

Subsequent consultation

A lower fee is charged when you see the doctor again. This is because less time is usually needed once the doctor has become familiar with your condition.

Post operative Consultation

Depending upon the operation the cost of some of your post operative appointments are included in the surgical fee.

Payment of Fees

Our staff will outline the exact costs to you when you ring for an appointment. We ask for full payment at the time of the appointment accepting cash, cheques, EFTPOS and most credit cards (not American Express or Diners Card). You will receive an invoice from these consultations and then you take this to Medicare for a rebate.

If you are a Workcover patient you must bring with you your claim number so we can make a claim on your behalf. If you do not provide this then you will be responsible for payment.

If you are a DVA patient you must bring with you your appropriate cards for verification and claiming purposes.

Dr Cooke does take special circumstances into consideration, so if you feel it necessary, it is important that you speak to Dr Cooke about your fees.

Extra costs

If a procedure is performed at the time of the consultation (for example a joint injection) you will be charged for this and again you may use your detailed invoice and receipt to claim your Medicare rebate.

What should I bring to my consultation?

  1. Your referral letter from your GP (without this referral you will not be able to claim through Medicare)
  2. X-rays, scans and any other information that you have from your GP
  3. Medication history
  4. Health insurance details
  5. Workcover claim details, if applicable
  6. Any family members or friends you may want to have present to help in the discussion and decision making process
  7. A written list of questions you may have.

Surgical Fees

Once Dr Cooke has informed you of the need for an operation, our staff will give you an estimate of the costs for your particular surgery. Each operation has a different item number and fee. As well, each health fund has a different policy for payments to both patients and doctors. This makes the estimate and billing process all that much harder to navigate.( It would be wise to talk to your health fund to ensure your level of cover prior to your surgery).

The estimate we provide to you, will include the costs for Dr Cooke, his surgical assistant, your rebate and any out of pocket costs. Generally speaking, there will be a gap to pay that is not covered by the Medicare Rebate or your Health Fund. You will need to pay the gap or the co-payment before proceeding with surgery.

We will also provide you with the Anaesthetist’s name and practice contact details and it is important that you make contact with this Anaesthetist to determine his costs. The fees charged by the Anaesthetist are separate from the fees charged by the hospital or by Dr Cooke. The anaesthestic fees vary dependent upon the complexity and duration of the anaesthesia. It is your responsibility to pay the Anaesthetist for the services he provides. You may be able to claim a rebate from Medicare as well as from your private health fund (assuming you have private health insurance).

Depending on the surgical procedure and your medical health, Dr Cooke may require you to have a consultation with a General Physician prior to your surgery. We can make this appointment for you. You will be responsible for the fee charged by this Physician.

Depending upon your level of Private Health Insurance, you may also receive an account from the Hospital, Radiology, Pharmacy, or Physiotherapy. There may also be costs for rehabilitation devices such as knee braces or crutches. These accounts generally arrive after your surgery, and are separate and independent of Dr Cooke’s cost. Our Secretary will be able to advise you in relation to gaining quotes for such items.

Please remember that this is a quotation only, and Dr Cooke may have to do more or in some cases, less than initially expected which could cause a difference in costs to those originally quoted.

Trauma Procedures

By its very nature, Orthopaedic Trauma work can be quite difficult, often is not timed conveniently and can be distressing for the patient. Despite this Dr Cooke has a particular interest in the management of trauma and has spent considerable years of training  gaining additional expertise in this area. The Medicare recommended fees are not commensurate with equivalent elective procedures. Added to this is the after hours nature of this work and follow-up care. It is for this reason that Dr Cooke charges (for trauma procedures only) the AMA recommended fees.

Summary

Estimating the costs for surgical procedures does appear quite complicated and our staff will do their best to help you understand these costs within the private health care framework. It is very important that you understand and are well informed regarding your financial commitment to Dr Cooke prior to your surgery. Please do not hesitate to call us any time to discuss any financial concerns you may have.

Dr. Cameron Cooke
Dr. Cameron Cooke
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