FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS!
Please find some of the frequently asked questions regarding our services.
Information on services offered, referral requirements, booking appointments, consultation and treatment costs, cancellations, treatments offered, insurance & other matters, pre-appointment preparation, communication and other relevant matters can be found here.
If you can't find the answers you are seeking, please let us know using our contact form or request a call-back and we will attempt to answer all your queries.
How do I book an appointment?
A referral is needed before any appointment can be offered. Once a referral has been sent, please contact us (email or web-form preferred) with details regarding the referring doctor, the date referral was sent and indicating the urgency of the situation.
We receive hundreds of calls each day and may not be able to answer all calls in a timely fashion. If you are unable to get through, it is preferable to send us an email or an appointment request through the website.
It takes 2 weeks for appointments to be triaged and processed. We will contact you regarding your appointment requirements and arrange a suitable appointment based on availability. All urgent referrals should be discussed in person with Dr Kris otherwise, they will be queued for routine triaging and processing.
Please be patient with us. If you treat our staff with courtesy and politeness, it is more likely that you may be offered an appointment sooner. Rude behaviour is not tolerated, and we reserve the right to refuse appointments if staff are treated with rudeness.
Do I need a referral for my appointment?
It is a regulatory requirement that a referral is needed for all new and follow-up appointments where rendered services attract a Medicare Rebate. General practitioner (GP) referrals are usually valid for 12 months (unless referred indefinitely for some conditions*). Most non-GP referrals are only valid for 3 months. Even where a Medicare Rebate does not apply (such as Workers Compensation referrals, Third Party Insurance referrals), it is preferable to have a valid referral from your treating doctor.
A valid referral should be dated, signed and a reason for referral should be included. It is now not necessary to have a named practitioner for private outpatient specialist consultation to receive a Medicare Rebate.
While we can offer appointments without a valid referral, please note that you may not receive a Medicare Rebate and will therefore have to bear a higher out of pocket cost. Also, it is Good Medical Practice to have continuity of care and following specialist reviews, a management plan is usually formulated and conveyed to the referring doctor which will ensure that you receive the best health care that you deserve.
It is the responsibility of the patient or the carer to ensure that a valid referral is sent to us atleast 2 weeks prior to any scheduled appointment including ongoing follow-ups. If you are not sure if a referral is needed, please check with our Admin Staff.
Are your services bulk-billed?
The federal government has frozen medicare rebates which unfortunately have not kept up with the rising health-care costs. Unfortunately, this means increased out of pocket expenses for your medical needs.
It is difficult to provide a high quality of care which you deserve, and we therefore regret to inform you that we are unable to offer any bulk-billed services.
The shortage of neurology workforce and longer wait-times of several months make bulk billing not-feasible. If you need to be bulk-billed, please discuss a referral to the public hospital out-patient clinic with your referring specialist or treating doctor but this may involve substantial waiting periods.
Specialists do not receive additional government funding and health-funds do not pay for outpatient specialist visits. Also, concession card holders or pensioners may not be able to access bulk-billed services given a lack of a government incentive to keep the running of a medical practice sustainable. Please discuss the Medicare Rebate Freeze with your local MP.
Do you offer tele-health appointments?
Tele-health appointments are offered for eligible patients. It is preferable that new patient appointments are always done in person, but exceptions may apply for some cases where a medical examination may not be necessary such as a person with headaches with normal brain scans, first seizure patients with normal brain imaging. The temporary COVID-19 MBS tele-health item numbers are set to expire on 31 Dec 2021, and we are awaiting further clarifications from the Dept of Human Services regarding ongoing feasibility of tele-health services.
Patients living outside of major metropolitan areas are eligible for telehealth appointments. A decision must be made on a case-by-case basis, and we encourage you to seek clarification at the time of making your appointment on whether tele-health may be an option.
Can I request prescriptions over phone?
Repeat prescriptions are not issued and has to be obtained by your treating doctor which would be your usual general practitioner. If you lose a prescription, a repeat prescription may be issued but this may involve additional fees ($15) to cover our administrative expenses including the doctor's time to re-issue prescriptions.
Dr Kris may be able to issue prescriptions for medications recommended by him but only during your appointments with him.
Electronic prescribing is being slowly rolled out, but this would not necessarily change our "prescription rules" as described above.
Does my Health Fund pay for any expenses?
Health funds do not pay for outpatient specialist out of pocket expenses. All referred patients who hold a valid medicare card are eligible to receive a medicare rebate.
Health Funds may help if you need to go into hospital for treatments such as infusion therapies for autoimmune neurological conditions etc.
We may request your Health Fund membership details prior to your appointment but this will not be necessary at billing time. Please contact us if you need any further information regarding this.
What is the best way to communicate with your surgery?
We take phone calls from 10am to 4pm daily. Our average daily call volume is well over 125 on a regular busy day. It might therefore make phone communication difficult even if you leave a voice message. We request that the contact form on the website or our practice email is used for routine correspondence including requests for appointments, appointment rescheduling and also cancellations.
If you call and are unable to get through to our receptionist over phone, please leave a message and generally follow-up with an email after 2 business days if you do not receive a response to your voice message within 2 business days.
Why do you request a deposit for some appointments?
The continued shortage of neurology workforce across Australia and particularly in regional and non-metropolitan areas poses a significant challenge to the delivery of timely neurology and neurodiagnostic services with most practitioners having a waitlist of several months.
Unfortunately, patients may be referred to more than one practitioner or may book themselves with more than one practice which could result in non-attendance of booked appointments or late cancellations which make managing the lengthy waiting periods a challenge.
During busy periods, patients are requested to make a deposit to secure an appointment. It will help you spread out the cost of your appointment (like a payment plan) but may assist you with securing an earlier appointment where possible. Also, it deters people for not just turning up or booking appointments with multiple practitioners so that all deserving patients are given an equal opportunity for a specialist review. Please email us to discuss your circumstances.