Before you go into hospital for any proposed treatment as a private patient, it's your right to ask your doctor about his or her fees and to find out about the fees of other doctors who might be involved in your care. You should also ask your health fund about what you are covered for and whether you will have any out-of-pocket costs to pay.
Unlike other services, anaesthetists (as with other professional medical specialists) do not have a standard scale of fees. The fee charged by your anaesthetist is related to the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) number or the Relative Value Guide (RVG) number.
You should be aware of the cost of your anaesthesia before your private medical procedure. You should also be aware that Medicare and health fund rebates may not cover the entire cost of your anaesthesia. This difference between the anaesthetist's fee and your rebates is the 'gap'. The size of the 'gap' varies greatly depending on your health fund.
Wherever possible you should contact your anaesthetist to obtain an estimate of the anaesthesia fees, including Medicare item numbers, prior to your procedure. This information will allow you to enquire from your health fund about the level of benefits available to you.
Your safety and satisfaction are the prime concerns. However, for Private Patients, the Government and other parties require that financial issues be addressed and that patients receive an estimate of their anaesthesia fees, where practical.
There will be a separate fee from your anaesthetist for the anaesthesia services provided to you. You should be aware that Medicare and health fund rebates may not cover the entire cost of your anaesthesia. This difference between what is covered and the actual fee for the anaesthesia services is known as the "gap" and will be your personal responsibility to pay.
Whether there will be a gap and the size of the gap varies greatly depending on your health fund. It is also usual for the gap to be larger when the surgery is of long duration.
When your surgeon informs us that you are on a list for a procedure, we will email/mail you with an estimate of your anaesthesia fees. This will allow you to enquire further from your health fund about the level of benefits available for your procedure. However if you have not been given an estimate of your costs use the estimate page on this website, and one will be emailed to you as soon as possible.