A/Prof David van der Poorten
Dr Roslyn Vongsuvanh
  Prof Golo Ahlenstiel
Dr Way Siow

Appointments & Enquiries:  (02) 8711 0160

FAQ

 

What does No-Gap Billing for procedures mean?

If you have hospital cover with your health insurance then you will be covered to have any endoscopic test at the private hospitals where we work. Our fees, and those of the anaesthetist will be directly billed to your health fund so long as it has a "No-Gap" policy (almost all do). If you have an excess for hospital admission you will need to pay this to the hospital on the day of admission, and for some funds you may not be fully covered for pathology services, but there will be no other fees and no other bills. If you have no excess then you are fully covered and the procedures will not cost you a cent.

 

What are the Procedure Item Numbers Used?

Gastroscopy - 30473 or 30478

Colonoscopy - 32090 or 32093

Sigmoidoscopy - 32084 or 32087

 

What do Consultations Cost?

We aim to provide excellent specialist medical care at affordable prices, but in order to do this an appropriate fee must be charged to cover running costs. The cost of providing medical care (including overheads, secretarial support, office space, stationery, and so on) continues to increase with inflation. However the Medicare rebate has not changed significantly for a few years. In fact Medicare will only pay up to 85% of the fee it sets. The AMA has published a list of fees, which have increased in line with inflation, and are held to be fair remuneration for the service provided. These fees are substantially higher than the Medicare rebate and I while I will not charge fees at AMA levels, the fees will be higher than the Medicare rebate, so a "gap" payment will be required from the patient.

 

The table below indicates our fees, and the Medicare rebate for outpatient consultations. Patients holding a current health care card or pension will be charged a reduced rate while patients with an aged pension will be bulk billed. Please note the Medicare rebate has been frozen since 2012.

 

ITEM Description AMA fee

Medicare Rebate

  OUR FEE
110 Initial Consultation - full $320 $128.30 $240
     HCC or pension
  $128.30 $190
       Aged pension
$128.30 Bulk Bill
116 Follow Up Consultation - full $160 $64.20 $135
  HCC or pension   $64.20 $115
  Aged Pension   $64.20 Bulk Bill

 

We accept payments on the day via:

    • Cash
    • EFTPOS
    • Credit Card

 

What is the waiting time for an appointment?

Typical waiting time for a new appointment in 3-4 weeks, however there is always room to fit in urgent cases sooner with one of our Doctors. Please let us know if you need to be seen urgently such as if you have a positive faecal occult blood tests (FOBT), severe anaemia or another reason. We are always happy to speak with your GP directly to help facilitate an urgent review.

 

 

What do I need to bring to an appointment?

To get the most out of your appointment please bring the following:

    • Referral from your doctor
    • Medicare card, DVA card, Pension Card
    • Have your Private Hospital Insurance information with you
    • Recent blood tests and scan results
    • Hard copies of any CT scans, Ultrasounds, MRI or Xrays when available
    • Correspondence from other specialists and names of any doctors you attend
    • Previous endoscopy reports
    • A list of your current medications and their doses

 

How often do I need a referral?

You need a new referral from your GP every 12 months or if you are coming to see me about a new problem. If you are booked in for a repeat procedure you will also need a new referral if it has been over 12 months.

 

What are the risks of a Colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is a very safe procedure and it remains the most reliable and effective way of examining the large bowel. Serious complications are rare, at less than 1/1000 examinations. Like any procedure complications may occur such as:

  1. An abnormality may be missed
  2. Dizziness, headache or vomiting with the bowel preparation
  3. Reaction to the sedative or anaesthetic
  4. Bleeding
  5. Damage to the bowel wall including perforation

Bleeding and perforation are very rare unless there is an underlying abnormality of your bowel or polyps have to be removed. Even in the event of a complication occurring it can usually be managed without the need for surgery. If you have any of the following symptoms in the hours or days after colonoscopy you should contact the hospital or our office immediately: severe abdominal pain, black tarry motions, persistent bleeding from the back passage, fever or other symptoms that cause you concern.

 

What is the difference between having a gastroscopy/colonoscopy in the public vs the private system?

If you have your procedure privately it will be performed by your own specialist (Dr van der Poorten or Dr Vongsuvanh), with the assistance of a specialised anaesthetist. Tests can be performed with minimal waiting time and at the location of your choosing. Procedures are billed no-gap.

If you have your test in the Public (Westmead or Auburn) your name will be put on a waiting list and the date allocated according to the clinical urgency. Waiting time is usually between 1-4 months. There is much less flexibility with the dates, meaning that if you change your mind you will likely go back to the end of the waiting list. The procedure in most cases will be performed by a training registrar with your specialist in attendance.

The equipment and care you will receive is the same whether you are in the public or private. All procedure locations use the latest Olympus 190 series endoscopes with Carbon dioxide insufflation (to cause less bloating) and HD imaging technology.