What will my surgical care cost?

We aim to provide our patients with the best surgical care available; our practice is equipped with high quality medical equipment, instruments and supplies. Our team, treatments and facilities meet our strict standards, with patient safety and clinical care of the utmost importance. We are staffed by team members who provide patients with a caring specialist practice in a safe, accessible and comfortable environment.

The cost of providing quality health care whilst minimising out of pocket cost to patients is the basis for our fees. Your rebates from Medicare and your fund will vary depending on a number of factors. The medical rebate rules in Australia are complicated - and are explained further down this page.

We charge a fee that is fair and reasonable, based on the complexity of the surgical procedure as well as the expertise and experience required for its performance and resources or products required to achieve an optimal result.

How much does a consultation with Dr Sharp cost?

A standard consultation with Dr Sharp regarding a skin lesion costs $140. A cosmetic or reconstructive consultation with Dr Sharp is a longer appointment, and costs $180. If the procedure you are seeing Dr Sharp regarding is eligible for a Medicare item number - and your doctor has referred you to Dr Sharp - you will receive a $72.75 rebate on your consult fee.

At the time of booking your consult, you will be asked about the nature of your consultation, so that adequate time, clinic resources and the appropriate consultation fee can be advised.

Can I get a quote or estimate over the phone or by email?

While we can provide a general fee range for most procedures prior to consultation with Dr Sharp, to obtain an accurate indication of the costs involved with your surgery - inclusive of any eligible Medicare item numbers - an appointment with Dr Sharp is required.

This is because each operation is tailored to the patient, and the total cost of surgery can vary significantly based upon:

  • the procedure required
  • any applicable item numbers
  • the chosen hospital
  • your private health fund status
  • whether you can have the surgery as a day case, or with an inpatient stay

Following your consult with Dr Sharp, you will be provided with a customised estimate of fees document, which itemises your surgical, anaesthetic and hospital cost aspects, as well as the rebate you can expect to receive on your surgical fee and hospital admission, if applicable.

If you live in regional Australia, a Skype consultation can be arranged with Dr Sharp, after which a written estimate of fees outlining all costs involved, can be provided.

What are the costs involved with plastic or cosmetic surgery?

There are three main fee elements to most surgeries:

  1. surgeon’s - and if applicable, surgical assistant’s - fee
  2. anaesthetist’s fee
  3. hospital fee

Dr Sharp’s surgeon’s fee includes the following aspects of your procedure and care:

  • the fee for your surgical procedure
  • implants or prosthesis (if applicable)
  • post operative garments (if applicable)
  • post operative healing or recovery optimisation products that Dr Sharp would like you to take home and start using immediately after surgery (if required)
  • after hours access to our post operative support nurse
  • all post operative consultations conducted at our clinics, for 12 weeks following your surgery

Anaesthetic fees are calculated based upon the length of time required to complete the surgery. Your theatre component of the hospital fee is calculated based upon a complex ‘banding’ system as well as theatre time required. Your hospital fee also factors in whether you have the procedure as a day case, or day surgery, or as an inpatient with overnight (or multiple nights) stay. The hospital may also charge for therapeutic goods used during or after your operation, radiology or pathology.

When comparing fees, it is important to take all aspects of the surgery, as well as your post operative costs, into consideration. These should always be provided to you clearly, in plain language.

All quoted fees are estimates, as unexpected findings during your surgery may necessitate an additional procedure to achieve an optimal outcome. In some cases, this can incur an increase in the expected fees. In all cases, Dr Sharp carefully evaluates his patients’ condition as accurately as possible, so that the most precise quote can be provided prior to your procedure.

Dr Sharp’s fees are set below the Australian Medical Association’s recommended fee schedule.

When is payment due?

Your surgical fee is not payable at the time of your first consultation; in fact, Australian regulations prevent your surgeon from taking payment for cosmetic surgery for at least two weeks following your first consult, to allow a ‘cooling off’ period. Once your surgery is booked, we ask that you contact the anaesthetist and hospital to be advised of their payment’s due date.

If you are having your procedure in a hospital, your surgeon’s fee is due in full, two weeks prior to your surgery.

If you are having a minor procedure (MOPS) in our clinic, the surgical gap fee will be payable on the day of your procedure.

Minor procedure ‘MOPS’ fees

Sometimes, Dr Sharp may suggest that your lesion can be removed in our clinic, without a hospital admission required. All procedures performed in our clinic are considered ‘outpatient’ procedures, and as such they don’t attract a private health fund rebate. The total fee for your lesion excision cannot be accurately determined until after we receive the pathology results back following your procedure. So as to avoid patients bearing unexpected costs, we only charge an upfront fixed ‘gap’ payment for in-clinic excision of lesions. This ‘gap’ payment is payable on the day of your minor procedure. After we receive your pathology results, we bill Medicare for the remaining rebatable amount. Medicare will post this payment to you as a cheque, issued to Dr Sharp. When you receive this cheque, please promptly forward it to us so your account can be finalised.

Dr Sharp does not charge a ‘facility fee’.

Does Dr Sharp offer finance or surgical loan options?

We respect our patients’ right to fund their surgery in whichever way they personally see fit. We offer the following payment options:

  • cash
  • cheque
  • EFTPOS
  • direct funds transfer
  • credit card
  • partial payments made over a period of time, commencing no sooner than 2 weeks following their first consultation, and ensuring that the surgeon’s ‘s later than 2 weeks prior to their surgery date

Some of our patients choose to obtain medical or surgical finance suppliers, personal loans or redraw facilities to fund their surgery. Our practice does not offer, or assist with the application for, these payment options.

The new Australian Medical Board guidelines and Australian Society of Plastic Surgery Code of Conduct prevents surgeons from offering “financing schemes to patients…either directly or through a third party, such as loans or commercial payment plans” [12.4, Guidelines for Registered Medical Practitioners who perform cosmetic medical and surgical procedures, 2016]. These guidelines can be viewed here: Medical Board guidelines Australian plastic and cosmetic surgery

Our practice frequently receives enquiries regarding medical or surgical finance, and are frequently advised by patients that they have been offered it elsewhere. These guidelines are in place to protect patients. We believe that if a doctor is willing to contravene these guidelines, it calls into question their overall adherence to the law - and standards of professional conduct  - something we are not willing to do in order to obtain payment from patients who are finding it difficult to fund their surgery.

Likewise, we do not encourage patients to use their home loan or superannuation for elective cosmetic surgery - although in some circumstances, superannuation may accessed to fund procedures that are listed on the MBS (i.e. procedures that attract an item number), at the discretion of the Department of Human Services.  Surgery can sometimes require revisional or secondary procedures, and patients are encouraged to consider how they will afford any subsequent surgery required, if their funding options have been exhausted by their initial procedure.

Will my private health insurance cover the cost of my surgery?

Your gap, or out of pocket costs, will be dependent upon the specific procedure you are having, as well as your level of private cover, any waiting periods applicable and excess payments or your fund’s exclusions.

If you are having a procedure listed on the MBS in hospital, the government allows your health fund to pay a further 25% of the MBS fee for services provided in hospital (ontop of your Medicare rebate). To learn more about the fixed MBS fee for procedures, scroll further down this page. Your private health fund can’t provide a rebate for medical services provided outside of hospital, as an outpatient.

We aim to provide you with an accurate indication of any expected rebates for your surgical fee, but we cannot assure the accuracy of these as they are provided to us via a third party provider - as we do not have direct access to each health fund’s internal client system. Therefore, once you have obtained an estimate of fees from us, we encourage you to contact your health fund to ascertain your coverage and any rebates applicable, to avoid any unexpected costs.

Is Dr Sharp a ‘known gap’ provider?

For skin lesion and some reconstructive procedures, Dr Sharp offers ‘known gap’ pricing. For medically-required cosmetic procedures listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule, Dr Sharp does not offer ‘known gap’ pricing.

How do I claim my rebate?

If your procedure is listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule - such as skin lesions, breast reduction surgery, breast reconstruction and some rhinoplasty and abdominoplasty procedures - you will be able to lodge your receipt with Medicare and your health fund to receive a rebate. If you have private health insurance, most health funds will allow you to complete a ‘two way’ claim, which enables your claim to be assessed and processed in a single claim by both your health fund and Medicare, who will liaise with each other to provide your rebate amounts. Cosmetic procedures do not attract a rebate.

Do I need private health insurance to have surgery?

No, many of our patients do not have private health insurance, but opt to have their procedure performed privately with Dr Sharp as it gives them the ability to choose their surgeon and hospital, among other factors. Patients having a procedure that is eligible for coverage under the Medicare Benefits Schedule item number may find that some of their surgery and anaesthetic fees are rebatable. Patients who have an uninsured cosmetic procedure that is not listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule in a private hospital will not be eligible for any aspect of their surgery to be covered by Medicare.

Will I be charged for my post operative consults?

Dr Sharp does not charge his patients for their post operative appointments

Does Dr Sharp operate on private patients in public hospitals?

‘Intermediate’ surgery used to occur commonly in Queensland, however this initiative has been scaled back by Queensland Health in recent years and is not currently available to Dr Sharp’s patients in metropolitan Brisbane hospitals.

What is the Medicate Benefits Schedule (MBS) fee?

The medical and surgical rebate system is complex and can be difficult to understand. In summary, the Australian government sets the scheduled fees, and therefore rebate amounts, that it will pay for medical services; this list is known as the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). It determines a set fee for certain services or procedures - these are allocated corresponding ‘item numbers’. Not all medical procedures are included in this schedule, and those that are included have a strict set of criteria to ensure only applicable procedures qualify for rebates.

The MBS fees were introduced in the 1980’s, and at the time, were similar to surgeon’s fees. However, over the decades both internal and external market pressures have dramatically forced up the costs of health service delivery. During this time, MBS fees have not been fully indexed and have fallen behind the rate of inflation and average weekly earning increases. The costs of providing medical services continues to rise faster than CPI and AWEI, and as a consequence a gap has formed between most medical services and procedures and the MBS, in order to continue to provide Australia’s high quality private healthcare system.

Like any industry, you will be able to find cut-price surgical services. Some are provided by practitioners that claim to be ‘surgeon’s but do not hold a Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and have not completed formally recognised surgical training in Australia. We have chosen not to comprise the quality of our facilities, services, staff or the safety of our patients’ clinical care in order to cut costs - therefore the fees we charge takes into account the increased costs of providing high quality surgical services.

Medicare

The MBS is used to calculate the Medicare rebate paid on your procedure’s fees. If you are not in hospital, Medicare rebates 85% of the MBS fee. If you are admitted to hospital (as a day surgery patient, or inpatient) the rebate is 75% of the MBS fee.

What are AMA fees?

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has created the AMA List of Service and Fees - a recommended schedule for services and procedures that reflects the cost of delivering medical services, with applicable indexation with CPI and AWEI. The cost of running practice is different, depending on the location, type, size and quality of practice - and therefore each doctor will apply their own, different private fee schedule. The AMA has campaigned for more accurate indexation of the MBS fees so that patients receive appropriate rebates for their care.

Dr Sharp’s fees are based on a percentage of the AMA fee, and we typically charge less than the fees recommended by their schedule.

Words to know:

Medicare benefit is the amount that is paid for a Medicare-eligible medical service. It includes the Medicare Safety Net benefit where applicable.

Medicare Safety Net benefit is the amount a Medicare benefit is increased once the annual threshold in eligible out-of-pocket costs is reached.

Eligible out-of-pocket costs means the difference between the fee you are charged by your doctor, and the MBS rebate you will receive from Medicare.

MBS rebate is an amount of money which patients receive from Medicare following a Medicare-eligible service. It is based on the MBS Fee and does not include the Medicare Safety Net rebate.

MBS Fee (or Schedule Fee) is the fee the Government has set for each individual Medicare service. This is different from the fee the doctor chooses to charge.

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Greenslopes Clinic

Our Greenslopes clinic

Suite 5A Greenslopes Private Hospital, Newdegate St, Greenslopes

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