Fees and Charges
As we are a private practice there will be a charge for the services you receive at Oncology North Coast. We do aim to keep these charges as low as possible and our consultation fees are less than those considered fair and reasonable by the Australian Medical Association (AMA).
Medicare rebates do not cover the cost of providing you with a safe and high quality service. Our fees have to cover all our practice costs including meeting operational expenses such as rent, computers, insurance, hospital charges, and employee costs.
The initial consultation will normally take 45 minutes and a management plan will be formulated with you and forwarded to your referring doctor. During the early stages of your treatment, your oncologist will make two management review appointments. These appointments are more comprehensive and your response to treatment will be reviewed. These appointments usually take about 20 minutes. All other follow-up appointments to discuss your progress and test results will usually be about 15 minutes.
We do not generate accounts and payment is to be made on the day of consultation. We accept cash, cheque, Eftpos and credit card. We have Medicare Easy Claim and on-line Medicare claiming, and can deposit your Medicare rebate back onto your debit card immediately.
If you feel that your financial circumstances are such that you cannot afford the required treatment, please discuss this with your oncologist. As treatment length and nature varies greatly between patients, costs of treatments also differ. At your first appointment your oncologist will give you further information on the costs associated with the treatment you are to receive.
Oncology Treatment charges
Your treating oncologist does not charge out-of-pocket costs for supervising your chemotherapy. The fee for this service is covered by Medicare. You will receive Medicare bulk billing assignments for the supervision of your chemotherapy. These forms are for your personal record and no payment is required. We advise you to review these claims for correctness and request you notify us at Oncology North Coast if there are any discrepancies.
If you have treatment at St Vincent's Day Oncology Unit your PBS script costs for chemotherapy drugs and premedications are all covered by your health fund. On discharge however you will need to pay PBS script fees for take home medications. DVA patients are covered fully for all prescription costs.
If you have treatment in the cancer clinics at the public hospitals you will have PBS script fees for all chemotherapy and take home medications. The pharmacy will keep a computer record for you and will notify you once you have reached the Safety Net threshold and issue you a PBS Safety Net card (see Pharmacy costs). This card will bring the cost of PBS scripts down to concession rates or free for the rest of the year. Please note, if you use different pharmacies you will need to add up these receipts yourself and watch the total.
For further information regarding the Medicare Safety Net please go to the link:
For further information regarding the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme go to the link:
Clinical Trials costs:
No out-of-pocket costs are incurred for delivery of your treatment or care when you participate in a clinical trial. You will be given Medicare bulk billing assignment forms for your oncologist's services for your records.
Epic Pharmacy is the pharmacy which provides all chemotherapy and supportive medicines to our area. It provides specialised hospital, aged care and oncology pharmacy services. The local Epic oncology pharmacy is located at St Vincent's Hospital and can be contacted on (02)6624 0688 for any enquiries about pharmacy accounts.
All chemotherapy drugs are subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). You will have out-of-pocket costs for PBS scripts for chemotherapy drugs and supportive medicines. These costs will be the same as for any doctor's PBS prescription.
If you need to be admitted to hospital and you are a public patient your oncologist can oversee your care at Lismore Base Hospital. You may also be treated by doctors nominated by the hospital, and you will not be charged for most treatment and care.
If you need to be admitted to hospital and you are a private patient your oncologist can oversee your care at St Vincent's Hospital or Lismore Base Hospital (if you nominate to be a private patient). The oncologists participate in the health funds No Gap Scheme and there are no out-of-pocket costs for your care whilst you are an inpatient. If you elect to have your treatment at St Vincent's Day Oncology Unit you will be asked to complete a health fund form and this form will cover your day stay admission fee. It is advised that you check with your health fund about your excess which is usually a one-off fee charged once a year.
Other costs with your treatment may include:
- blood tests and radiology scans
- surgical or radiotherapy appointments
- travel and accommodation
- services by other doctors