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  • 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. Many Consultant Physicians support surgeons before and after a patient's surgery, as part of a total health management team. This often occurs when a patient has pre-existing health issues (eg diabetes), a history of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), high blood pressure, or for other reasons is at higher risk for surgery. 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 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 valid 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/other referring doctor, 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. We request that referrals are emailed to us at least a week ahead of your appointment with us.
  • What is a "referral"?"
    A "referral" is a written request to us by another doctor. It is a request for investigation, opinion, treatment and/or management of a condition or problem of a patient or for the performance of a specific examination(s) or test(s). The Medicare benefit is payable only if the request is received on or prior to the day of your appointment with us. For further Medicare information on requirements for valid referrals click here Please note that referrals from GPs last for 12 months, while referrals from surgeons and other specialists last for only 3 months. We request that you email us your referral to us, along with your Patient Registration Form, a week ahead of your appointment with us.
  • Why am I seeing Dr Flanagan?
    If you are unsure as to why you have been referred to Dr Flanagan, please contact the doctor who is referring you to us. We only see patients when other doctors refer them to us. Other doctors include GPs, other medical specialists and specialist surgeons. Many leading Melbourne surgeons ask us to assess patients' health 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 / prior medical history are on medication, especially for hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes or blood thinning (eg aspirin) Dr Flanagan also assesses the risk of, and treats, deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
  • When is the earliest I can see Dr Flanagan?
    We generally have a 4-5 week wait for appointments. Should you wish to be placed on a cancellation list, please: 1. complete our form on the Form tab asap, including attaching your referral 2. if you have been requested by your referring doctor to have any tests, please have those done asap. Once we have your form and referral (and test results if requested) we will be able to contact you quickly should an earlier appointment become available.
  • How do I make an appointment to see Dr Flanagan?
    Please refer to our Appointments tab. We generally have a waiting period of around 4-5 weeks. If you wish to be placed on a cancellation list, we are able to do this once we have: your completed online Patient form, including attaching the referral if your referring doctor has requested that you have tests before seeing us (eg, if you are seeing us for pre-operative assessment), the results of those tests
  • How long does an appointment last and how much does it cost?
    Your first appointment with us is "an Initial Consultation in a single course of treatment", which is either Medicare item 132 or Medicare item 110. If you are being referred to us for a renal/kidney issue, or have a number of items to discuss, your appointment is: Medicare item 132 which is for 45 minutes from 1 September 2023 the fee will be $440 Most pre-surgical appointments are: Medicare item 110 which is for 30 minutes from 1 September 2023 the fee will be $330 Should you see us again, in that single course of treatment, it will be either: item 133 $240 from 1 September 2023 or item 116 $180 from 1 September 2023 a subsequent consultation. The above items are reduced slightly for pensioners. More details about consultation types and benefits may be found on the Medicare website MBS online - Medicare Benefits Schedule. Payment is on the day. We accept payment by: cash where you have the exact change credit card/EFTPOS (card fee of 1.4% applies) 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 written referral supplied prior to you seeing us.
  • Will I get a Medicare rebate?
    The Medicare rebate is payable to a patient if they have a current written referral to us, before seeing Dr Flanagan. If your referral expires before you see us, you will need to obtain a new one from your referring doctor/GP. We request that you email your referral to us a week prior to your appointment with us. The Medicare rebate varies from person to person depending on your individual circumstances, for the current rebates: item 132 click here item 110 click here item 116 click here 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 a week prior to your appointment. Kindly email also any other paper test results (eg ultrasound reports) a week 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 any requested tests done at least a week prior to seeing us
  • Can I bring a support person to my appointment?
    Yes, you may bring a support person to your appointment. From August 2023, you and your support person no longer need to don a face mask upon entering the Epworth Centre.
  • What time should I arrive for my appointment?
    For COVID-19 safety, please arrive no more than 5 minutes before your appointment. All paperwork (referral, patient registration form) should be emailed to us a week beforehand, to minimise physical contact in the rooms, and payments may be made by cash (with exact change) or via credit card/EFTPOS (1.4% surcharge applies).
  • Do I need to wear a face mask at my appointment?
    As at August 2023 both you and your support person (if any) no longer need to don a face mask when entering the Epworth Centre, unless you wish to.
  • Will I need more tests done after my appointment?
    Often - not always, but often - Dr Flanagan requests that patients have more tests, to fully investigate their health. This may include specialist scans, heart tests, blood tests, ultrasounds or other tests. If so, Dr Flanagan will discuss this with you at your appointment. If you are seeing us for pre-operative assessment: should Dr Flanagan request that you have further tests, he will need to consider the results of those further tests as part of your pre-operative assessment.
  • I have the go-ahead for surgery from Dr Flanagan, what happens now?
    If Dr Flanagan has undertaken a pre-surgical assessment, he will write to your referring surgeon with his advice. It will then be up to your referring surgeon to consider Dr Flanagan's 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; this may include diabetic medications as well as blood-thinning and/or other medications, such as aspirin, Plavix, Clopidogrel, Cartia, warfarin, Pradaxa, Xarelto, Eliquis. You may also be requested to stop taking other substances such as fish oil, krill oil, ginseng, gingko and garlic supplements prior to your surgery. Your surgeon may request that Dr Flanagan see you in hospital, if so Dr Flanagan will normally see you the day after your surgery. He usually visits patients most days that they are in hospital, but it depends on different factors including the type of surgery and the length of your stay in hospital.
  • 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, noting that each health fund has their own schedule/list of coverage options, 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, or you have no health insurance, we will forward our invoice to you for settlement. If you have no health insurance, our usual fees will be the Private rooms rate (see FAQ above: “How long does an appointment last and how much does it cost?”). The first visit is usually Medicare Item 110 (Initial Consultation) and occasionally Medicare Item 132 (Extended Initial Consultation) and for any subsequent consultation/s usually Medicare item 116 per visit. Dr Flanagan usually visits patients most days that they are in hospital, but it depends on different factors including the type of surgery and the length of your stay in hospital. Where Dr Flanagan has another Physician covering his practice, that Physician will invoice you separately. 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.
  • 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 Australia Epworth Hospital National Institutes of Health (US site)
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