Frequently Asked Questions
We strongly recommend you obtain a referral from your GP or specialist prior to making an appointment with us.
A referral is important for many reasons:
- It helps us to determine the urgency of your appointment. We prioritise referrals to ensure any urgent problems are assessed promptly, and all patients are seen in a timely manner.
- It ensures that the cardiologist you are seeing is appropriate for your condition and for us to determine if any tests are required prior to your appointment.
- It provides us with your medical history – we need to be aware of any health problems or medications which may influence your diagnosis and treatment.
- It ensures that your referring doctor will receive a detailed letter or report following your appointment, allowing them to better manage your health care.
- Medicare states that to receive your full rebate for a consultation or test, you must have a current referral to your specialist.
A referral from a GP is valid for 12 months from the day of your first appointment. A referral from another specialist is valid for 3 months only. We encourage indefinite referrals for patients who have ongoing cardiac care requirements. Please ask your GP about obtaining an indefinite referral.
Please note, you will need to obtain a new referral for the following reasons, even if you have an indefinite referral:
- If you change GPs
- If your current GP retires
- If your current GP moves locations
It is your responsibility to ensure that your referral is current. We ask you contact our rooms prior to the day of your appointment to confirm this. If we do not have an up to date referral on the day of your appointment, we cannot send your claim to Medicare on your behalf.
The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) is a list of the medical services for which the Australian Government will pay a Medicare rebate, to provide patients with financial assistance towards the costs of their medical bills. Medicare rebates do not, and were never intended to, cover the full cost of medical services. The Medicare Schedule Fee has been set by the Government to determine the amount of rebate that patients receive.
Medicare offer a rebate for most of our services, provided you have a current referral.
From July 1st 2016, Medicare rebate cheques are stopping. This means you will need to register your bank account details with Medicare so the rebate can be paid directly into your bank account via EFT.
Once you have registered your bank account details, we can send your claim through to Medicare for you on the day of your appointment. Your payment should be deposited within 24 hours.
For more information, or to register your bank account details, visit www.humanservices.gov.au or call 132 011.
Private health insurance is generally divided into hospital cover and extras cover. All private health insurance only covers for inpatient cardiac care, meaning, if you are an outpatient and are not admitted to hospital, your private health insurance will not cover any of your cardiac related costs.
There is an enormous range of private health insurance products. The general rule is that the cheaper the premium, the less the product will cover. Such products will often exclude cover for specific medical treatments, such as cardiac procedures.
Patients need to be aware of what they are covered for and what is excluded from their health care policy. Unfortunately, the list of exclusions is getting larger all the time, often without transparency from health funds to their policy holders, so you must keep up-to-date with changes, remain informed and ask the correct questions of your fund.
To assist patients in understanding private health insurance and the effects of recent changes, AMA Queensland has collated several resources. For more information visit www.ama.com.au.
Your first point of contact will often be your GP or referring specialist. QCG works closely with our referring doctors, and will always send a detailed letter and/or results following your consultation and/or test. These will be sent two ways to ensure they are received: electronically via a secure network and via post or fax.
You can also contact our rooms to speak with our nursing staff.
QCG has a number of nursing staff within the practice who have all worked extensively within cardiology. The nursing staff work closely with the cardiologists in the practice to offer a range of services including: cardiac education, explanation of procedures and testing, cardiac device testing and remote home monitoring. They are able to liaise with our Cardiologists to answer questions you may have about your care.
You should bring the following material to your appointment:
- Your referral.
- Your Medicare card.
- A list of your current medications.
- Your private health fund card, DVA Gold card or Pensioner card (if applicable).
- Blood tests, other test results, previous medical records, scans etc. that might relate to your appointment.
- If you are a new patient, please complete the New Patient Registration form prior to your appointment. This can be filled out in our rooms on the day of your appointment, but completing it online will ensure a smoother arrival on the day.