- My Insurer says that you are too expensive
This is their way of saying that the surgeon that your GP has recommended is not part of the loyalty scheme that your insurer promotes. Some surgeons are members of loyalty schemes and agree to set their prices at a level dictated by the insurer. Some, then receive a Bonus as a reward. It is more transparent and fairer to charge all patients the same, irrespective of insurer or, whether they are insured or not.
- My insurer says that you are not on their list of specialists (or not ‘recognised’ by them)
Again, this is their way of saying that the surgeon that your GP has recommended is not part of the loyalty scheme that your insurer promotes. Instead, the surgeon probably charges fees that are the same, whether you pay yourself, or are insured with any private medical insurer or mutual fund. To charge different patients, different amounts (according to what the insurance company will cover) for the same procedure, is unfair and could be challenged by the Office of Fair Trading.
- My insurer insists that I cannot see you, but have to go elsewhere
This is the insurer’s method of diverting you away from the Surgeon that is both recommended by your GP and local to you too. The insurer prefers that you see a member of their loyalty scheme and possibly, pays that doctor a bonus for charging less. You may wish to ask your insurer some questions:
- Does the doctor they have suggested have the same level of skill and experience as the one your GP recommended?
- Do they have your medical interests or their ‘profits’ in mind when suggesting that the specialist your GP has suggested is inappropriate?
- The amount I will have to pay seems a lot – why?
Some insurers have recently made huge reductions (up to 50%) in the amount that they will reimburse to their clients who are claiming for treatment. Medical charges have NOT increased – in fact, fees that doctors charge (and insurers reimburse) have barely increased over the last 15 years despite increases in RPI and inflation.
- Why was I not told that my policy does not actually cover the cost of treatment?
Insurers have not told their policy holders that they are suddenly meeting less of the costs. In effect they have levied a massive excess upon you, the policy holder, with no consultation or warning. If your car insurer did that, you would likely change insurance company.
Fees and Terms
It often takes 6 months for all the stiffness and swelling to resolve following bunion surgery, and minor swelling late in the day is not unusual and should not be a cause for concern.
For self-funding UK patients, the outpatient fees are £200 for a new patient consultation and £150 for a follow up.
For self-funding patients requiring surgical treatment all fees are quoted in writing in advance of surgery. The fees are based upon the complexity procedure and length of operation. Hospital fees are quoted separately by the various hospitals (also in advance) and vary between institutions. These are always higher than the clinician’s fees.
Following your consultation, you may need certain tests (such as blood tests or imaging, for example an X-ray, MRI or CT) to help us diagnose your condition. If the test is undertaken by the hospital and not by us, the fees for those tests will be determined by the hospital and charged to you or your private medical insurer separately. If there are any fees which we will charge in relation to any of the tests that you have, we will let you know what those will be.
Prior to your consultation you will need to provide us in advance with your insurance details and also a pre-authorisation number. The pre-authorisation number will be given to you by your insurance company once you have cleared the consultation with them.
We also require a current mobile phone number and email contact. These are for the purposes of communicating with you, supplying your clinical notes and for billing. We do not share this information with third parties, and it is kept securely. Please feel free to email these details to us on firstname.lastname@example.org
We also require that you supply your credit card details in advance of consultation which are stored encrypted on a fully PCI / DSS compliant system. The card details are removed once treatment has finished and the account is settled. Please do not email your credit card details. For insured patients all fees are due within four weeks of consultation / treatment date. In the eventuality of a policy excess, any outstanding amounts will be collected from the credit card supplied and a receipt emailed to the registered address at that time.
If you are self-funding, then payment is required on the day of review or treatment. We operate a secure World-pay system for payments.