Fees for Anaesthetic Services
The cost of your anaesthetic service is calculated as a proportion of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) rate of fees for anaesthetic services, and are set independently by each anaesthetist as is a requirement of Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
It is normal to have an out-of-pocket cost for most anaesthetic services, and this is usually discussed prior to your procedure. Unfortunately, most health insurance policies pay a very small proportion of the actual true costs of your anaesthetic service, in the order of 1/3 of the AMA fee, which makes an out-of-pocket cost inevitable, except for the shortest of procedures.
However, this does not mean that having health insurance is not useful, as if you were uninsured you would discover that the costs of actually staying in a hospital and going to the theatre are generally much greater than the fees of your surgeon and anaesthetist, and these physical costs are generally covered by most health insurance policies. Of course, you are responsible for your own health insurance, and your anaesthetist does not provide any advice on the matter of which insurer and which policy is appropriate for your specific circumstances.
You will generally be contacted by one of my secretaries at Medsserve (Tel: 02 8765 9475) prior to your procedure and asked to prepay the anaesthetic costs for the service. This policy is to ensure that costs are minimised for all patients by reducing the rate of defaults on bills, and also ensures that informed financial consent has definitely occurred. For some cases financial consent prior to the procedure will not be possible (e.g. emergencies, add-ons) and you will be contacted afterwards for payment or provided an SMS reminder. In those cases, we request payment is made within 14 days of receipt of your bill to avoid additional collection fees. In some cases you may be able to have a proportion of your total costs refunded by your health insurer, although there is a wide range in the amount refunded due to the range of policies available, and the presence or absence of a gap policy, all of which is generally tied to your premiums, as with all other types of insurance.