The first appointment is usually a long consultation.
Please bring all your X-rays with you (not just the written report). If you have no previous images, please notify the rooms so we can organise for you to have an X-ray on the day of the consult.
After asking few questions, Ms Di Bella will examine you and review your X-Rays.
If you come for a tumour consult, it is highly likely that Ms Di Bella will request other special scans that are necessary to obtain a clear diagnosis, together with a biopsy, which is usually performed under CT guidance. All the scans and procedures will usually take less than two weeks, after which Ms Di Bella will see you again to discuss the diagnosis and the treatment options.
Ms Di Bella strongly believes in clear communication and will make sure that all the information she has given you during the consult have been understood and discussed in detail.
If you require surgery, Ms Di Bella will explain the procedure and what the expected outcomes are.
Sometimes there is the need for a medical physician to review your general health status before proceeding with surgery; in this case Ms Di Bella will refer you to a specialist who will also see you during your in-patient stay and will follow you up afterwards.
Please ask Ms Di Bella which medications you can take and which ones you will have to withhold.
It is important to understand the medical and surgical fees you will incur.
Australian residents are universally covered by Medicare, which covers part of the doctor's costs. If you have private health insurance, this will mainly cover the hospital costs and only minimally contribute to the doctor's costs.
Each procedure has a special code number (MBS code) which is associated to a specific rebate to the surgeon. This is covered by Medicare, but is very different from the recommended Australian Medical Association (AMA) fee. The reason for this is that the Medicare rebate hasn't changed much since many decades, while the costs for quality surgery and insurances have increased remarkably. The difference between AMA rates and Medicare rebate is called "GAP", which represents the out of pocket expense you might incur.
Ms Di Bella operates within the "known gap scheme" of all insurance companies, which assures a minimal out of pocket expense for you. However please note that there are differences between health insurance companies and policies, so it is recommended you contact your insurance provider to confirm your level of cover and what is included in it. Providing your insurance with the MBS code of your operation, which you will know after the consultation, will allow you to know exactly if you are covered for the procedure.
Standard MBS codes for joint replacement surgery are
- Total Knee Joint Replacement: 49518
- Total Hip Joint Replacement: 49318
Before any surgical procedure, Ms Di Bella's practice manager will also explain the costs of your procedure, and clarify what your out of pocket expense will be.
First appointment fee $ 200
Review appointment fee $ 120