Australian Leadership: Dr Nicholas Tellis on Australian Leadership: The measure of a leader is how many leaders they foster rather than how many followers they attract

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Partridge Street General Practice is looking for Great GPs – could You be one of them?

Men’s Health Week 2018 at Partridge Street General Practice 

June is Men’s Health Month and June 11-17, 2018 is Men’s Health Week at Partridge Street General Practice. Men are important and Health is important so let’s look at some issues in Men’s Health.

 

 

 

Do you look after yourself like you do your car?

 

 

From the Men’s Health Week website:

 

A boy born in Australia in 2010 has a life expectancy of 78.0 years while a baby girl born at the same time could expect to live to 82.3 years old. Right from the start, boys suffer more illness, more accidents and die earlier than their female counterparts.
Men take their own lives at four times the rate of women (that’s five men a day, on average). Accidents, cancer and heart disease all account for the majority of male deaths.
Seven leading causes are common to both males and females, although only Ischaemic heart disease shares the same ranking in both sexes (1st). Malignant neoplasms of prostate (6th), Malignant neoplasms of lymphoid, haematopoietic and related tissue (7th) and Intentional self-harm (10th) are only represented within the male top 10 causes.

 

 

Smoking, Skin Cancer, Suicide, and So Much Alcohol

 

 

The above figures are taken from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Furthermore, there are specific populations of marginalised men with far worse health statistics. These marginalised groups include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, refugees, men in prison or newly released from prison and men of low socioeconomic standing.

 

Men’s Health Week has a direct focus on the health impacts of men’s and boys’ environments. It serves to ask two questions:

 

What factors in men’s and boy’s environments contribute to the status of male health as indicated in the table above?

How can we turn that around and create positive environments in men’s and boy’s lives?

 

 

We’re going to ask and answer those questions this week. Stay with us online and in person – we’ve got your back!

 

 

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GET A GREAT GP!

(Here’s some we made earlier)

DR NICK TELLIS

Your Specialist In Life

DR NICK MOUKTAROUDIS

DR GARETH BOUCHER

Dr Gareth’s Cycle of Care

DR PENNY MASSY-WESTROPP

Dr Penny Massy-Westropp

DR MONIKA MOY

Dr Monika Moy

DR KATHERINE ASTILL

Dr Katherine Astill 1

 

 

We look forward to seeing you soon!

 

 

 

#poojogger

June is Men’s Health Month and June 11-17, 2018 is Men’s Health Week at Partridge Street General Practice. Men are important and Health is important so let’s look at some issues in Men’s Health.

 

 

However, it is also Bowel Cancer Awareness Month – so Men and Women over 50 please see your GP or take advantage of the government screening programs. Those of you under 50 – if you notice a change of bowel habit or unexplained loss of weight – come in and see Your GP!

 

 

 

Do you look after yourself like you do your car?

 

 

From the Men’s Health Week website:

 

A boy born in Australia in 2010 has a life expectancy of 78.0 years while a baby girl born at the same time could expect to live to 82.3 years old. Right from the start, boys suffer more illness, more accidents and die earlier than their female counterparts.
Men take their own lives at four times the rate of women (that’s five men a day, on average). Accidents, cancer and heart disease all account for the majority of male deaths.
Seven leading causes are common to both males and females, although only Ischaemic heart disease shares the same ranking in both sexes (1st). Malignant neoplasms of prostate (6th), Malignant neoplasms of lymphoid, haematopoietic and related tissue (7th) and Intentional self-harm (10th) are only represented within the male top 10 causes.

 

 

Smoking, Skin Cancer, Suicide, and So Much Alcohol

 

 

The above figures are taken from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Furthermore, there are specific populations of marginalised men with far worse health statistics. These marginalised groups include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, refugees, men in prison or newly released from prison and men of low socioeconomic standing.

 

Men’s Health Week has a direct focus on the health impacts of men’s and boys’ environments. It serves to ask two questions:

 

What factors in men’s and boy’s environments contribute to the status of male health as indicated in the table above?

How can we turn that around and create positive environments in men’s and boy’s lives?

 

 

We’re going to ask and answer those questions this week. Stay with us online and in person – we’ve got your back!

 

 

img_8730

 

GET A GREAT GP!

(Here’s some we made earlier)

DR NICK TELLIS

Your Specialist In Life

DR NICK MOUKTAROUDIS

DR GARETH BOUCHER

Dr Gareth’s Cycle of Care

DR PENNY MASSY-WESTROPP

Dr Penny Massy-Westropp

DR MONIKA MOY

Dr Monika Moy

DR KATHERINE ASTILL

Dr Katherine Astill 1

 

 

We look forward to seeing you soon!

 

 

 

Skin Cancer Medicine and Surgery with Dr Nick Mouktaroudis at Partridge Street General Practice

Dr Nick Mouktaroudis is a GP and co-owner at Partridge Street General Practice. He’s  passionate about health education, has a special interest in Skin, and a lot of expertise to share when it comes to helping people cope with and improve Skin Conditions. We recently had occasion to have a think about how we started Skin Cancer Surgery and Medicine at Partridge Street General Practice and we have a little story below.

 

Imagine a perfect day in a perfect General Practice. Focus on a busy yet unrushed GP, consulting with another valued patient. The flow of the consult is perfect, the communication great, everything is as it should be. 
 
We have to imagine days like this because they very rarely occur. Flow is fleeting and perfection is often aimed for and seldom reached. 
 
Going back to that consult, we can see that the GP is busy – but is definitely not unrushed. You can feel the pressure in the room as the patient seeks answers and closure and the GP senses the minutes ticking by. The consult comes to a close and both stand, the patient heading towards the door, the GP wishing them well, the patient’s hand is on the door and then. It happens. 
 
‘By the way Doc, what do you think of this?’
 
The GP turns away from the flashing screen and sees, across the room, a spot on the patients leg. 
 
Should we get the patient back at a later date? Offer reassurance we don’t feel confident giving?
 
Or, as the GP in this story does, do you reach for the dermatoscope, call the patient back, and look. There’s no such thing as a quick look and so the light comes out, the gel is applied, and a good thorough look is had. 
 
It’s an ugly duckling, a chaotic little mishmash of colours and globules. 
 
It would turn out to be a nasty – a nasty better appreciated in the pathologist’s dish than in the patients bloodstream.
 
A good result.
 
At the end of the day, the GP sat and wondered how this could be avoided in the future – how could we improve and be better. These challenges see us but we do not always see them.
 
This was our practice and so we had to change. 
 
Plan
Do 
Study
Act
 
Patient safety is paramount. We decided to solve for quality improvement and patient safety at the same time and made the decision to upskill one of our GPs, Dr Nick Mouktaroudis. He undertook multiple courses and extensive study in Primary Care Skin Cancer Medicine, Surgery, Therapeutics, and Dermatology. Following this we spent time and money upgrading our procedure facilities, equipment, and systems to support Dr Nick. We then allocated time for dedicated skin checks and adjusted our online booking and reception protocols. 
 
These were the first steps and in conjunction with our most recent AGPAL accreditation we have repeatedly run through this cycle, improving every time. We now have dedicated times for skin checks and skin cancer surgery, as well as protocols, systems, and education supporting Dr Nick and the other GPs in the practice. Patients enjoy seeing a GP they know and trust who can deliver appropriate care at a Primary Care level and price point. We receive great feedback from patients and local sub-specialists. It’s a clear win for patients, GPs, and our practice – and the mindset of continual quality improvement that we share with AGPAL was the way to get there. 
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What is a Skin Check?

 

 

A Skin Check is a Comprehensive Skin History and Examination which is done at Partridge Street General Practice.

 

Your GP will ask you questions to assess the extent of Your risk/exposure to UV radiation and Your risk of solar related cancers.

 

They will examine you head to toe, examining the skin surface, focusing on any areas of concern (including the eyes, mouth, and anywhere else you may have noticed any spots, lumps, or bumps).

 

 

 

Are there any tools used for the Skin Check?

 

 

A proper examination needs proper equipment and we use handheld LED illumination with magnification as well as polarised light and clinical photography.

 

skin check dr nick mouktaroudis light

A dermatoscope is used to examine specific skin lesions. This is a particular type of handheld magnifying device designed to allow the experienced examiner to further assess skin lesions and determine whether they are suspicious or not.

 

 

 

Who should have a Skin Check?

 

We encourage all Australians over the age of 40 to have a Skin Check annually. Australians have one of the highest rates of skin cancers in the world.

 

Australians who have above average risks should be having Skin Checks before the age of 40 and sometimes more than annually.

 

You should have a Skin Check at any age if You are concerned about Your skin or particular skin lesions/areas.

 

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We ask You to identify any lesions of concern prior to the Skin Check wherever possible.

 

These may include new lesions that You have noticed or longstanding lesions that may be changing in some way or that You are concerned about. If You are worried – Ask!

 

Skin cancer check risk dr Nick Mouktaroudis

Risk factors for skin cancer

 

 

 

People at higher risk of skin cancer are those who:

 

have previously had a skin cancer and/or have a family history of skin cancer

have a large number of moles on their skin

have a skin type that is sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and burns easily

have a history of severe/blistering sunburns

spend lots of time outdoors, unprotected, during their lifetime

actively tan or use solariums or sunlamps

work outdoors

 

 

 

 

Does My GP take photos of My Skin?

 

 

 

During a skin check at Partridge Street General Practice Your GP will ask Your Specific Consent to take photos if they are concerned or want to make note of a particular skin lesion.

Photographs are useful as an adjunct to description of the lesion and act as a reference to position and comparison if required.

The photos will be uploaded onto Your Private Medical Record at Partridge Street General Practice.

 

 

 

What if My GP finds something?

 

 

 

This will depend on what Your GP has found.

 

If they are concerned about a particular skin lesion they may suggest a biopsy to clarify the diagnosis.

 

A biopsy is a surgical procedure during which they take an appropriate sample of tissue from the lesion of concern and send it to a pathologist for review.

 

Generally pigmented lesions (coloured spots), will be biopsied in their entirety whereas non pigmented skin lesions may be sampled partially if the lesion is too large to sample in its entirety.

 

The results of the pathology report will guide further treatment.

 

Your GP may elect to treat without a biopsy if they are confident of the diagnosis.

 

This may include freezing/cauterising a lesion, cutting it out (excising), or offering topical treatments such as creams.

 

Biopsies are scheduled in the Partridge Street General Practice theatre and our Practice Nurse will assist Your GP.

 

 

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What do I wear for a Skin Check?

 

 

 

Comfortable clothing.

 

Your GP will ask to examine you down to your underwear.

 

A sheet or towel will be provided for you to preserve your comfort and dignity.

 

A chaperone (Our Practice Nurse) is always offered.

 

Please avoid makeup or nail polish as the Skin Check involves the face and skin under the nails.

 

 

 

 

How long is a Skin Check?

 

 

Allow half an hour for Your GP to perform a thorough history and examination.

 

 

 

 

Do I need to see My GP or should I see a dermatologist?

 

 

GPs are Primary Care Physicians on the front line of Skin Cancer detection.

All GPs can check your skin, though not all GPs have formal training or a specific interest in skin cancer medicine and dermatoscopy.

Dr Nick Mouktaroudis has trained extensively in General Practice, Skin Cancer Medicine and Surgery, and has formal qualifications in Skin Cancer Medicine.

Dermatologists are sub-specialists in all skin conditions including Skin Cancer Medicine and Surgery although some will focus on other skin conditions.

 

 

 

 

Can I do more than a Skin Check?

 

 

 

You can Reduce Your risk by:

Avoid unnecessary exposure to the sun

Wearing sunscreen regularly and on all sun exposed areas.

Wear Hats and Sunglasses when appropriate.

Be aware of Your skin – both You and Your partner can check at Home.

 

 

 

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Book Your Skin Check Right Here.

 

 

 

Need more information? Leave a comment or see us in person. We’re Here to Help!

 

 

 

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You can see any of our Great GPs right here:

 

 

Dr Gareth Boucher

 

 

Dr Penny Massy-Westropp

 

 

Dr Monika Moy

 

 

Dr Katherine Astill

 

 

Dr Nick Mouktaroudis

 

 

Dr Nick Tellis

 

 

Be Super Kind

Doctors are people too. Is this a controversial statement? I’m going to go further and say doctors are people first. I bring this up because some doctors are amazing but they are still only human. There’s a special respect from me for our rural doctors including rural generalist GPs. To me, they are Superhuman! I look at what I do now, and what I used to do as a rural doctor (within 30km of a major Australian city), and, to quote a popular film it’s not the same game. It may not even be the same sport.

 

 

 

I’ll move to some other popular culture. A guilty secret of mine is that I like comics. One series I really liked (and beware this is a NSFW comic and not for children) is Irredeemable. It’s the story of an alien superman (The Plutonian) who becomes a superhero on Earth. He’s super resilent, can fly, has superhuman endurance…you know, those usual rural generalist abilities. The series opens with a family running for their lives. Heat beams target them. Their house is reduced to rubble. Spoiler Alert – they die. Hovering in midair over their bodies is The Plutonian. What happened?

 

 

Screenshot_20180304-173758.png

 

 

Prior to the above events, the Plutonian was doing his thing, saving people. It’s what he did. Day in, day out, with never a day of rest. He stops a nuclear bomb going off in a packed sports stadium. The crowd goes wild. He stands there, letting his adrenaline drop down. One voice comes to his ears amongst the adulation of the crowd.

 

 

‘What a poser’, or words to that effect. Only a few words, only one person, and buried in a sea of praise. But they were enough. They were too much. Superhumans are human too. Perhaps they are human first too? He snaps and flies off.

 

Irredeemable-7-6.jpg

 

I think 14 doctors committed suicide in the last 12 months. I could be wrong about this number. I’m not wrong when I suspect the number that had contemplated suicide was probably much higher. I don’t know the answer but being kind is a good start. Please, be kind. That is all.

 

#bekind

I would love to hear other views on this. We are all professionals or patients or both and we can always improve. Let me know here on the blog (or on our website) – or, if you’re a GP, on the fantastic GPDU FB Group – where GPs are invited to a festival of education and collegiality (#FOAMed – #GPDU18) May 30 – June 1!

 

Get a Great GP!

(Here’s some we made earlier)

Dr Nick Tellis

Your Specialist In Life

Dr Nick Mouktaroudis

Dr Gareth Boucher

Dr Gareth’s Cycle of Care

Dr Penny Massy-Westropp

Dr Penny Massy-Westropp

Dr Monika Moy

Dr Monika Moy

Dr Katherine Astill

Dr Katherine Astill 1

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Qi at Partridge Street General Practice

We’ve just celebrated the Chinese New Year – the Year of the Dog. People born in Dog years display loyalty and honesty amongst many other good qualities. However it is said that they can also be critical – maybe overly so. Segueing to another Chinese concept, we meet Qi, the vital life force that flows through the body. Let’s put these together.

 

 

 

A wise man once told me that the three pillars (the vital life force) of general practice are quality, service, and finance. All three of these come together in the form of the Practice Incentive Payments (PIP) scheme. You can read about this here but in summary Accredited General Practices are paid amounts of money for reaching certain quality measures. These include planning the management of a proportion of patients with diabetes and asthma, and ensuring women are screened for cervical cancer. There are also Incentive Payments for managing aged care and quality in prescribing.

 

 

 

 

These payments were due for a change on May 1st 2018. Were they promoting the vital life force of General Practice, were they tick box exercises for busy GPs, or were they overly critical of General Practice, not focusing on true quality? Enter QI – Quality Improvement. Rather than Qi, QI may be an altogether different beast.

 

 

But!

 

 

The Department of Health has confirmed that the Practice Incentive Program Quality Improvement Incentive will now occur from 1 May 2019.

 

 

From their press release:

 

 

The Practice Incentive Program (PIP) has been a key driver in quality care in the general practice sector and the PIP QI Incentive will continue to build on this important work, further strengthening quality improvement in primary health care. The additional 12 months will enable the Department, with the support and advice from PIPAG, to ensure that any implementation issues are identified and addressed and that general practices have adequate opportunity to prepare. It will also allow the Department to continue to consult with stakeholders on refining the design of the PIP QI Incentive.

 

The changed time frame will mean that the following five incentives which were to cease on 1 May 2018, will now continue through to 30 April 2019.

 

 

The five incentives are:

Asthma Incentive

Quality Prescribing Incentive

Cervical Screening Incentive

Diabetes Incentive

General Practitioner Aged Care Access Incentive

 

The six PIP Incentives that continue to remain unchanged are:

eHealth Incentive

After Hours Incentive

Rural Loading Incentive

Teaching Payment

Indigenous Health Incentive

Procedural General Practitioner Payment

 

 

What next? Will the new QI beast be reflective of quality in General Practice? Will the measures align with what we as General Practitioners believe is high quality Great General Practice care? Or will it aptly be launched in the Chinese Year of the Pig in 2019?

 

For what it’s worth, here are my measurements of quality, service, and finance in General Practice – the Qi of GP:

 

 

Quality – Time and Presence with Our Valued Patients

 

Service – Charging a private fee to those who can pay, allowing us to be charitable to those who cannot

 

Finance – Running Practices efficiently and well, with clinicians as owners steering the course of patient centred practices.

 

 

I would love to hear other views on this. We are all professionals or patients or both and we can always improve. Let me know here on the blog (or on our website) – or, if you’re a GP, on the fantastic GPDU FB Group – where GPs are invited to a festival of education and collegiality (#FOAMed – #GPDU18) May 30 – June 1! My last quality ltip – for personally better Qi – is below!

 

Get a Great GP!

(Here’s some we made earlier)

Dr Nick Tellis

Your Specialist In Life

Dr Nick Mouktaroudis

Dr Gareth Boucher

Dr Gareth’s Cycle of Care

Dr Penny Massy-Westropp

Dr Penny Massy-Westropp

Dr Monika Moy

Dr Monika Moy

Dr Katherine Astill

Dr Katherine Astill 1

We look forward to seeing you soon!

3 Free 2018 Fitness Tips from Partridge Street General Practice!

It’s 2018 and many of you will have made your New Year’s resolutions. Many of these resolutions will have been broken by January 15th! We’re past that date, so for those of you who are left, here are some free Fitness Tips to help you carry on and improve your health in 2018.

 

 

Number 3 Fitness Tip from Dr Nick Tellis and Partridge Street General Practice

Get to the Gym…or the Run…or the Swim

 

 

We’ve all had those days where we don’t really want to exercise. Abs may be made in the kitchen but they’re certainly not made in bed. Remove the obstacles. Have your gear out the night before – clothes, trainers, swimmers, headphones – whatever you need to Get It Done. Leap out of bed as the morning alarm sings, get your gear, and Get Out.

 

 

Once you’re at the gym or pool or about to start your run – Start! If you’re not feeling it after 5-10 minutes, stop and head home. That’s cool, it’s not your day. I can assure you following this tip will hugely increase the amount of exercise you do.

 

 

Get a great gym with Anytime Fitness Glenelg, just off Jetty Road, Glenelg!

 

 

dr nick lifting with chris (1)
Younger Fitter Training Partners – the Famous Chris Hooper

Number 2 Fitness Tip from Dr Nick Tellis and Partridge Street General Practice

Don’t be the fittest person

 

 

Here’s the easiest tip here – especially for those of you just starting out. It’s often said that if you’re the smartest person in the room, you need to find a new room. Training with people fitter than you will bring you up with them. Generally people fitter than you have been doing it longer than you have and have built up some great habits and great tips of their own. Let them lift you up!

 

 

My personal take on this is that I train with people younger and fitter than me. I take the opportunity to train with great female athletes – even though I’m nearly double their weight, I can almost keep up! 😎

 

 

Get some great training partners!

 

 

Run with Good Physio or Aspire Pilates and Physiotherapy!

 

 

Lift in the gym and Smash it in business with Sammie Johannes here, here, and here!

 

 

dr nick lifting with sammie
Ms Sammie Johannes – Business Development And Powerlifter

Ms Sammie Johannes – Business Development And Powerlifter

 

 

Number 1 Fitness Tip from Dr Nick Tellis and Partridge Street General Practice

Rack Your &%*%ing Weights!

 

 

You’ve got to the place of exercise and you’ve lifted/run/swam. It’s time. Time to put the little metaphorical cherry on that big beautiful exercise cake. Time for a little ‘accessory exercise’.

 

 

 

 

Rack your &%*%ing weights! Seriously! This is free exercise! You’ll feel better, your training buddies will love you, and your friendly gym owner will sing your praises (and maybe even put your picture up in the gym!). Routine will give you strength and is that extra 1% for you when motivation fails. Routine gets you to the gym. Routine gets your training partners to the gym. And the Routine of racking your weights is worth it’s weight in gold.

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re running or swimming instead of lifting – that’s cool too. Walk more. Walk to and from your run or swim. That incidental movement – briskly, to be truthful – adds up. It adds up to fitness. It adds up to cardiovascular health. It adds up to a little less weight around the middle. It Adds Up!

 

 

Get to Anytime Fitness Glenelg and hit Ryan up…and maybe rack a few weights 😉

 

 

 

 

walking works for dr nick
One Year of Incidental Movement

PS: Here’s a bonus tip

Get a Great GP!

(Here’s some we made earlier)

Dr Nick Tellis

Your Specialist In Life

Dr Nick Mouktaroudis

Dr Gareth Boucher

Dr Gareth’s Cycle of Care

Dr Penny Massy-Westropp

Dr Penny Massy-Westropp

Dr Monika Moy

Dr Monika Moy

Dr Katherine Astill

Dr Katherine Astill 1

AE5A2E0E-AC9E-436F-B33E-13798EC6AEFE
Weight training – Pumping Iron 😎

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Happy Birthday Partridge Street General Practice!

In 2014, Dr Nick Mouktaroudis and Dr Nick Tellis opened the doors of Partridge Street General Practice at Glenelg!

 

 

 

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We’ve gone from strength to strength since then and we’re now well established in our own Health Precinct with Aspire Physiotherapy and Pilates next door.

 

 

 

General Practice and So Much More

 

 

 

The future is bright as we continue to grow! Our Principal GPs :

 

 

Dr Nick Tellis

 

 

 

Your Specialist In Life

 

 

 

Dr Nick Mouktaroudis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Gareth Boucher

 

 

 

Dr Gareth’s Cycle of Care

 

 

 

 

Dr Penny Massy-Westropp

 

 

 

Dr Penny Massy-Westropp

 

Dr Monika Moy

 

 

 

Dr Monika Moy

 

Dr Katherine Astill

 

 

 

 

Dr Katherine Astill 1

 

 

We’re providing great General Practice care including:

 

Mental Health Care/Plans

 

Skin Checks and Skin Cancer Care

 

Travel Medicine

 

Immunisations

 

Workcover/Compensable Medicine

 

Emergency Care

 

Antenatal Care

 

Men’s Health and Screening

 

Women’s Health and Screening

 

Babies and Children’s Care

 

Nutrition and Weight Management

 

Executive Health Checks

 

Stop Smoking Help

 

Pathology Services

 

 

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We’re Here to Help You – in 2017 and beyond.

 

 

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We look forward to seeing you soon!

 

 

 

For a Hard Earned Thirst

A great Christmas message from the excellent Dr Raines! 👍

 

 

Bottoms up! 🥛🥛🥛🥛🥛 via For a Hard Earned Thirst

 

 

 

You can see any of our Great Team Partridge GPs right here:

 

 

 

Dr Gareth Boucher

 

 

 

Dr Penny Massy-Westropp

 

 

 

Dr Monika Moy

 

 

 

Dr Katherine Astill

 

 

 

Dr Nick Mouktaroudis

 

 

 

Dr Nick Tellis

 

 

The Last Referral

 

rey offers pen for luke to do a referral
Rey offers a pen to Luke to write a Referral

 

 

 

The good GP has a stewardship role in the Australian medical system and part of this is referring to subspecialist and hospital care. This is an important role and we don’t take it lightly. We want to do our best for our patients and help them get the care they deserve. One of the challenges is referring to public hospitals, where our referrals sometimes get ‘bounced’ back to us. In private practice, for the patient to receive a (Federal) Medicare Benefit (like when you see Your GP), the GP referral must be to a named provider (Dr Smith, Dr Jones, for example). When referring to a public hospital, there has historically been no Medicare rebate for the patient – public hospitals are funded by the State Governments and Medicare is funded by the Federal Government, and care is free at the point of service. This is changed recently, and public hospitals are now using Medicare funds to run their services. Therefore they now seek named referrals. But to who? It’s very hard to find out exactly which doctor will be seeing you, and so it’s hard to do a named referral, which may delay you being seen.

 

 

 

Dr Mark Raines has written an excellent piece on the role of referrals – I’ve taken some sections and highlighted them below, but you can read the whole piece here.

 

 

In Australia you don’t need a Referral to see a (sub-) Specialist. So, say you wanted to see a Plastic Surgeon about a skin lesion, you can just find a Plastic Surgeon on the internet or ask a friend and make an appointment and off you go. But be prepared for a bill – sometimes a really big bill. This is because, you won’t be able to access a Medicare rebate for the Plastic Surgeon’s fees. To do so you need to first have a valid referral from your GP. But it is not as simple as just calling your GP and asking for a referral.

 

 

 

 

Referrals from a GP are valid for 12 months whereas referrals from one sub-specialist to another are only valid for 3 months (for example when the surgeon that fixes your knee refers to the medical specialist to look after your heart). GPs can also do INDEFINITE referrals – for when you are seeing the same sub-specialist for the same problem for a long period of time (for example when a heart specialist is looking after an ongoing heart problem). Remember though, often your GP can manage your ongoing conditions very well together with your sub-specialist – saving you money and making it more convenient for you!

 

 

 

There are, however, rules!

 

 

 

Backdating Referrals

As a Referral is a legal document, Medicare does not permit backdating a Referral.

A Specialist can see a patient without a valid referral only in an emergency. Apparently, if your dog ate your referral, or another good excuse, there is a exemption available for you to claim your rebate if the Specialist notes that the “Referral is lost”. I am sure that Medicare would get suspicious if this happened a lot. Medicare do audit what GP’s and Specialists get up to make sure the rules are being followed. There are fines for not following the rules!

If you need a Referral make sure you see your GP before seeing the Specialist if you wish to get a Medicare rebate for the service. Asking your GP for a backdated Referral is like asking the Specialist to forward date your consultation so you can get a Referral. Both are not permitted under Medicare.

 

Backdating a referral is stating, in writing, that the doctor saw the patient BEFORE they actually did. Therefore…

 

Seeing a patient on Friday and writing a referral to a sub-specialist dated Monday for a consult that occurred on Tuesday is FRAUD.

 

Seeing a patient on Friday and providing a certificate dated Friday stating that the patient says they were unwell Monday and Tuesday is legally OK.

 

 

Some more rules and regulations.

 

 

 

directive+medicare+billing+outpatients

 

 

 

medicare+directive+and+outpatient+private+practice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So when You need a referral – or it’s time to manage Your health more conveniently – You can see any of our Great GPs right here:

 

 

 

Dr Gareth Boucher

 

 

 

Dr Penny Massy-Westropp

 

 

 

Dr Monika Moy

 

 

 

Dr Katherine Astill

 

 

 

Dr Nick Mouktaroudis

 

 

 

Dr Nick Tellis