Hand Surgery

COSTS & MEDICAL INSURANCE

I am recognised as a provider by all the major medical insurance companies (BUPA, BUPA International, AXA PPP, Norwich Union (Aviva), WPA, Standard Life, Pruhealth Cigna, Saga, Medisure etc.) I will invoice the insurance company directly, providing you have obtained 'preauthorisation'. Insurance companies usually require a referral from your GP as a condition of the insurance policy. I would recommend that you contact your insurance company prior to your initial consultation and if surgery is planned. The insurance company will give you a preauthorisation number which will smooth the process of account payment. Please bring your insurance details (policy number and authorization number) to the initial consultation.

If preauthorization has not been obtained prior to the consultation, you will be asked to pay on the day (cash or cheque) and should then forward invoices to your insurance company for reimbursement.

Many patients without health insurance now opt to pay for their own medical treatment privately.

For the majority of procedures, assuming no medical complications, I will provide an accurate estimate prior to commencing any treatment.

Most private hospitals require payment in full or a deposit at or before the time of treatment for self-funding patients. The hospital may require further payments on account with payment of the balance in full on discharge. The value of the deposit will vary with treatment and is at the discretion of the hospital providing treatment.

Organising payment in advance of your treatment will save time on the day of admission.

Consultations

Initial consultation

The initial consultation involves taking a history and examination. If X-rays are required, these may be performed at the consultation. If scans or other tests are necessary these will be scheduled on another occasion, usually within a few days. When hand therapy is recommended as part of the treatment, this can be started in clinic in most cases; my Hand Therapist runs a clinic in parallel with my clinic.

Follow up consultations

At a follow up consultation results of scans or tests are discussed and patients who have had surgery or other treatment are reviewed. Some follow up appointments will be performed by my Hand Therapist, including some dressing changes and stitches removal.

Fees

Consultation fees

  • Initial consultation fee: £250
  • Follow up consultation fee: £190

Some consultations are more complex and longer than others; the fee will be the same in either case.

Fees for investigations (including X-rays), treatment and hand therapy are additional.

Outpatient procedures

Injections, wound care and some minor surgical procedures are performed in the clinic.

My fee for steroid injection (tendon or joint problem): £150

The clinic or hospital may charge their own fee for injectable drugs and dressings.

Hand therapy

Hand therapy is frequently part of the treatment for a hand injury or following surgery. Hand therapy charging is based on how long is required and is billed in 15 minute blocks. The cost of a 15 minute session at the time of writing (July 2010) is £37. Splints, casts and equipment are additional costs. Hand therapy is invoiced by the hospital, not by me.

Surgery

Surgical fees break down as follows:

  • Surgeons fee
  • Anaesthetists fee
  • Hospital fee (usually the largest part of the cost). The hospital fee will include the cost of tests, eg pathology.

These three fees will be invoiced separately.

Medical insurance

I am recognised by all the major medical insurance companies. Insurance companies have their own fee schedules and what is and is not covered by a policy varies widely. Some policies have an excess or cap. I advise that patients check these things before proceeding with a consultation or treatment. Patients should contact their insurance company before having a consultation or treatment and obtain an authorisation number; this will enable me to bill the insurance company directly.

It is a requirement of most medical insurance policies that patients are referred to see a specialist by their GP.

The majority of insurance companies will pay consultation fees and hospital fees entirely, there is sometimes a shortfall for the surgeons fee. Insurance companies do not usually pay for splints or casts that may be required.

I can provide ‘surgical codes’ and estimates of my fees if you require these.

If there are shortfalls that are not paid by your insurance company, they should notify you and you would be responsible for these.

Self paying patients

I am able to bill either for each part of your treatment as I do with insured patients, or in some cases I can offer a ‘package price’ that includes my fees for surgery and follow up consultations (hospital and anaesthetist fees are invoiced separately).

Deposits

A deposit may be requested to secure your operation date if it is booked well in advance and for overseas patients.

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