Frequently asked questions

What kind of doctor is Dr Flanagan?

Dr Flanagan is a Consultant Physician & Nephrologist (renal/kidney specialist). A Consultant Physician is a specialist medical (non-surgical) vocation, and refers to taking care of patients with conditions that are complex and/or unusual. It takes at least takes at least 14 years to qualify to be a Consultant Physician, including at least six years in specialist training. Nephrologists look after patients with kidney-related health issues

Why am I seeing Dr Flanagan?

We only see patients when other doctors refer them to us. Other doctors include GPs, other medical specialists and specialist surgeons. Many leading surgeons in Melbourne ask us to see patients prior to possible surgery to review them from a medical (ie, non-surgical) point of view as part of a patient's total health care. This is common where patients are older, have pre-existing health conditions, and/or are on medication especially for hypertension (high blood pressure) or blood thinning such as aspirin. Dr Flanagan also assesses the risk of and/or treats deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If you are unsure as to why you have been referred to Dr Flanagan, please contact the doctor who is referring you to us.

How do I make an appointment to see Dr Flanagan?

Please refer to our Appointments tab. Firstly, complete at your earliest convenience our Patient Registration Form, attaching your referral/list of medications/medical history as appropriate. You may partially complete the form, save it, then return to it later. Secondly, once the Patient Registration Form is done, complete a Request an Appointment Form on our Appointments tab.

How long does an appointment last and how much does it cost?

If you are being referred to us for a renal/kidney issue, or have a number of items to discuss, your appointment is a Medicare item 132 which is for 45 minutes and costs $400 (reduced slightly for pensioners) Most pre-surgical appointments are Medicare item 110 which is for 30 minutes and costs $300 (reduced slightly for pensioners) Your first appointment with us is an initial attendance in a single course of treatment. Should you see us again, in that single course of treatment, it will be either item 133 or 116, a subsequent consultation. More details about consultation types and benefits may be found on the Medicare website MBS online - Medicare Benefits Schedule. Payment is on the day by credit card/EFTPOS only (no cash or cheques) In the event where your overdue account is referred to a collection agency and/or law firm, you will be liable for all costs which would be incurred as if the debt is collected in full, including legal demand costs. Please note that a Medicare rebate is payable only with a current referral.

Will I get a Medicare rebate?

The Medicare rebate is payable to a patient if they have a current referral to us, on the day when they see us. If your referral expires before you see us, you will need to obtain a new one from your referring doctor/GP. The Medicare rebate varies from person to person but as a guide, the rebate for a 110 is approximately $130. The full list of rebates is available on the Medicare website at MBS Online - Medicare Benefits Schedule. We are able to submit your claim direct to Medicare electronically on the day of your appointment. Please note that Health Funds do not subsidise rooms fees for Physicians.

What else do I need to do before my appointment?

Please ensure you have a referral emailed to us prior to your appointment. Kindly email also any other paper test results (eg ultrasound reports) before your appointment and bring any recent films/xrays on the day. It is also vital that any the results of any tests ordered by your referring doctor arrive in time for your appointment with us. Please have your tests done at least a week prior to seeing us

Can I bring a support person to my appointment?

Yes, but please be aware you may bring only one support person, who needs to be aged 16 or over. Both you and your support person will need to don a face mask upon entering the Epworth Medical Centre (and any other Epworth facility) and register your attendance on your smart phone with the QR app.

What time should I arrive for my appointment?

Please arrive no more than 5 minutes before your appointment. Kindly knock on our door, we will come out and bring you in. This is to ensure we maintain a minimum of 1.5 metres between you and other people.

Do I need to wear a face mask at my appointment?

Yes, both you and your support person (if any) will need to don a face mask when entering the Epworth Medical Centre (and any other Epworth Healthcare building)

Will I need more tests done after my appointment?

Sometimes Dr Flanagan requests that patients have more tests, to fully investigate their health. If so, Dr Flanagan will discuss this with you at your appointment.

I have the go-ahead for surgery from Dr Flanagan, what now?

If Dr Flanagan has undertaken a pre-surgical assessment, he will write to your referring surgeon with his advice. It will be up to the referring doctor to consider our letter and discuss with you the next steps. If you are taking any medications, you may be requested to stop taking them prior to your surgery, especially aspirin and other blood-thinning agents. Your surgeon may request that Dr Flanagan see you in hospital, if so Dr Flanagan will normally see you the day after your surgery.

What are the fees for hospital visits?

Dr Flanagan has a no-gap arrangement with many health funds, where we send our invoice direct to your nominated health fund for settlement, but each health fund is different and each person has their own individual cover. Please check your policy details with your health fund to ensure you are fully informed about your exact level of cover for hospital costs. Where your nominated health fund/other third party payer declines payment direct to us, we will forward our invoice to you for settlement. In the event where your overdue account is referred to a collection agency and/or law firm, you will be liable for all costs which would be incurred as if the debt is collected in full, including legal demand costs.

Why do I need a referral to see Dr Flanagan?

Dr Flanagan is a specialist, and only sees patients when referred to him by other doctors. A referral may be from a GP, a surgeon, or another medical specialist, depending on your individual health situation. Medicare will only permit a rebate for a consultation with us where a referral has been given in advance by another doctor. If you end up seeing Dr Flanagan for a longer period of time than your first referral allows, you will need to obtain a new referral. When your course of treatment ends/your care is returned to your GP, your referral will expire. Should you end up seeing Dr Flanagan at a later date, you will need to obtain a new referral. For Medicare definitions of consultation types please see the website MBS Online - Medicare Benefits Schedule.

Where can I find out more about medical/health conditions? Any website links?

This site does not contain medical advice for patients, this site is for information and education purposes only. Please consult your health professional for professional health advice related to your own individual health situation. The following sites may of of interest: Better Health Channel Better Health Channel DVT page Kidney Health of Australia Epworth Hospital National Institutes of Health (US site)

Is there a QR code for my appointment?

Yes, it is a Victorian Government requirement that you register with us, each time you visit us. Please use your smart phone to enter your QR code upon arrival. If you are unable to enter your QR code yourself, please let us know and we will register for you.