New patient appointments
Professor Dunn reviews all referrals as to who is most appropriate for his skill set, prioritizing those that need surgery. It is therefore necessary to send referral details via the “contact us” web page or email (email@example.com). Should you fall outside this, you will be offered an associate within the OrthoUCT practice or a recommendation made to a respectable surgeon in your town.
New patients are allocated a 30-45 minute appointment depending on the complexity. Please ensure you are familiar with where we are as access can be confusing in such a big hospital. If unsure, please call Kim on 021 442 1801.
Please ensure all recent imaging (x-rays and MRIs) are available – either by confirming that Prof Dunn has online access to your radiology practice, or if from out of town bring CDs along. If you have not have x-rays, these will need to be done prior to the appointment.
Prof Dunn will spend the consultation time listening to your story and examining you. After you leave he will prepare a report for your referring doctor and copy you in.
The 2020 first consultation fee for is R1304.20 VAT inclusive for routine cases and R1 956.30 for complex, multi-previous surgery cases. We expect settlement on the day with a discount to R1200 and R1800 respectively. Cash, EFT, Snapscan and credit card facilities are available.
You will be issued with a receipted invoice to claim from your medical aid. Depending on their level of benefits this could reimburse from 100% to 25% of the fee.
VideoConsultation is an available option. Face to face is of course best but the realities of COVID and distance make this a reasonable compromise. The HPCSA has recently modified their guidelines to accept NEW patient video-consulting as opposed the previous FOLLOW-UPs only, as long as it is in the interest of the patient.
Prof Dunn can accommodate this via Zoom, MS Teams, Skype and WhatsApp.
This will require a consent to the VideoConsultation process. The patient will be asked to wear suitable clothing that any deformity can be visualized especially in the case of paediatric and adolescent scoliosis.
The same fee will be charged as for physical presence, and the same codes used based on a “face to face” consultation as opposed to a “telephonic consult”
New and follow up consultation costs and billing procedure
For NEW patients settlement by cash, credit card, SnapScan, Masterpass and EFT is expected on the day.
For FOLLOW-UP consultations, Prof Dunn will use his discretion with the default being settlement on the day.
The amount many also be reduced on Prof Dunn’s discretion based on simplicity, duration of consult as well as patients financial situation.
|Fee incl. VAT||Discounted on day|
|New patient – routine||1 304.20||1200|
|New patient – complex, previous many surgeries||1 956.30||1800|
|Follow up patient within 3 months post-op||0.00||0.00|
|Follow up patient after 3 months post-op||652.10||600|
Cost of surgery
Spine surgery is expensive and includes many parties:
- imported spinal implants
- physician / paediatrician if supportive care required
- cell saver technician
- assistant surgeon
- blood tests
- blood transfusions
- intra- and post-op x-rays
Each provider will invoice independently. This makes exact quotation difficult as there are many variables including time in theatre and duration of admission. For self-paying patients we give a quotation subject to expected events. A typical lumbar decompression is between R80-120 000 whereas fusion surgery can be around R250 000 all in all. This is why medical aid pre-authorization is mandatory.
Once we decide on surgery, Prof Dunn will provide a quote for his practice which covers his services, the assistant surgeon, the in hospital surgical aftercare and 3 months outpatient surgical care. This is based on his rate which may differ from the reimbursement level of your medical aid plan. He will attempt to highlight potential shortfalls however it is important that you engage with your medical aid to delineate exact funding levels. Prof Dunn will assist where possible with motivations under PMBs, rule J and ex-gratia where he deems it appropriate.
Prof Dunn is a Discovery Classic and Bestmed provider. Therefore on these plans, there will be no shortfall on his account. The other medical aid plans need to be assessed individually. His rooms will assist you with the pre-authorising process which can be complex with all the role players involved. It however remains your responsibility to ensure all is in place before surgery.
Should you have GAP cover, please indicate this as it will simplify a lot of the process and most likely cover the shortfalls.
Do we accept all medical aids?
Some of the lower plans exclude private spine surgery and members should check beforehand.
Most mainstream medical aids will pay for indicated spine surgery however some insist their members used their own designated service providers – both surgeons and hospitals. They may apply penalties should patients be treated outside their network. We will assist with this and motivate to waive the penalties if appropriate. This is often the case in scoliosis where the skills are not readily available.
It must be remembered that there is a surgeon-patient relationship and patient-medical aid relationship. There is no direct surgeon-medical aid relationship unless they have a specific contract. Thus we can only assist in the process where we do not have contracts.
Prof Dunn is a Discovery CLASSIC and BESTMED provider. This means there are no professional shortfalls with member of these plans. For the rest, patients need to confirm with their medical aids what they fund, where and at what level. All of this can be confusing and our practice will assist with advice and the process, but in the end it is the patients responsibility to ensure they are well informed as to the financial implications of the surgery.
We do experience particular problems with Medihelp and Medshield medical aids as regards spine surgery.
Documentation to download
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Once on their site click on the Visa / Mastercard / EFT option.
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