Schedule of Consultation Fees
Initial comprehensive eye examination
Our fee for a standard initial comprehensive eye examination is $88.70 - this consultation usually takes 30 to 40 minutes and routinely includes digital retinal photography and a screening scan with optical coherence tomography. In many other practices these procedures would attract additional fees. By comparison, Optometry Australia recommends a fee of $110 for an initial consultation, not including these procedures.
Sometimes in the course of an examination it becomes evident to the optometrist that additional procedures need to be conducted, either on that day or at a subsequent appointment. Examples include the performing of corneal topography where keratoconus is suspected; or of more detailed optical coherence tomography for diabetic patients, or where there has been a sudden reduction or loss of vision. Fees for these procedures are billed in addition to the consultation fee.
Brief initial and subsequent consultations
For brief initial visits (defined as visits taking less than 15 minutes) and for short subsequent consultation a fee of $60.35 applies. By comparison, Optometry Australia recommends fees of $55 (brief initial) and $73 (subsequent) for these consultations; Medicare provides a rebate of $28.45 for these items. Again if specialised additional procedures are conducted these will be billed separately. Unlike the initial consultation, it is generally possible to know accurately in advance what procedures will need to be performed and therefore exactly what the fees will be.
Fees for additional procedures
The fee for detailed optical coherence tomography (as opposed to the normal screening scan provided as part of your initial consultation) is $72.25 - this procedure may be performed at the initial consultation if it is necessary to do so such as in the examples above, or in some cases will be performed at a subsequent visit.
The fee for corneal topography is $44.35 and again this may be performed at the initial consultation if necessary or sometimes at a subsequent visit. Computerised perimetry (measurement of the fields of vision) is generally performed at a subsequent consultation, the fee for which is $72.25 - this procedure usually attracts a Medicare rebate of $54.20.
If a contact lens after-care is performed in addition to the initial consultation, the fee for doing so is $44.35 - further information on contact lens fees appears below.
Contact lens consultations - simple fittings
Some contact lens consultations attract a Medicare rebate, especially those relating to patients with high or unusual prescriptions, but these tend to be in the minority. When fitting contact lenses for the first time, or re-fitting you with new, different lenses, sometimes a bulk fee will be charged and our optometrists will explain this and what it covers prior to commencing the fitting process. Sometimes this fee will be split up into separate components that added together equal the bulk fee.
The fee components for simple contact lens fittings subsequent to the initial consultation follow below. In some cases not all of these will apply, for example to a previous wearer of contact lenses who does not need instruction in how to handle and care for their lenses.
- corneal topography $44.35 (usually performed at the initial consultation)
- 30-minute visit to fit the lenses and/or teach lens handling and care $88.70
- 15-minute visit to perform an after-care review of the lenses $44.35
If all the above components are required and a bulk fee is applied, the total charge is $177.40 (compared with the Optometry Australia recommended fee of $279). Bulk fees cover as many visits as are needed to achieve a satisfactory lens fit. A Medicare rebate of $140.95 applies to those patients whose optical condition meets the eligibility criteria.
Contact lens consultations - complex fittings and orthokeratology
Fitting rigid contact lenses for complex conditions such as keratoconus and for irregularly shaped corneas frequently takes significant time and numerous visits to review and adjust these lenses. In these cases a bulk fee is always charged for the fitting or re-fitting process, and this fee covers as many visits and corneal topography procedures as are necessary to achieve an optimal fit.
For complex contact lens fittings the bulk fee is $297.15 (the Optometry Australia recommended fee is $446) and usually a Medicare rebate of $177.85 will apply. In cases that require fitting with even more complex mini-scleral or post-corneal-graft rigid lenses and where repeated OCT scans are frequently required of the lens sitting on the front of the eye, the bulk fee is $446.
Similarly orthokeratology frequently requires mulitple visits and corneal topography measurements. Our usual fee for orthokeratology consists of $620 for the corneal retaining lenses/moulds (although higher fees apply for more complex lenses/moulds) and $1,170 in professional fitting fees - a total of $1,790. A more detailed break up of how these professional fees are made up appears on our orthokeratology page.
Dry eye consultations and diagnostic and treatment procedures
Dry eye assessments and consultations take up to 60 minutes to perform and are preceded by an initial consultation either that day or at a previous visit. If both are to be performed together on the same day the total time required is 90 minutes. In either case the fee for the initial consultation is $88.70
A significant component of the dry eye assessment is Oculus K5 keratography. A fee of $133.50 is charged for this procedure as well as a dry eye consultation fee of $88.70 for the other tests, discussion and advice involved - this fee will normally attract a Medicare rebate of $28.45 (provided the dry eye consultation is performed on a different day to the initial consultation).
Generally fees for in-office procedures for treating dry eye do not attract a Medicare rebate. If a consultation is also conducted in addition to the procedures, however, it may attract a rebate. A summary of the fees for each in-office procedure follows below.
Dry eye analysis and treatment procedural fees:
- Tear osmolarity analysis $37.80
- Blephex lid cleaning $48 *
- Blephasteam and meibomian gland expression $48 *
- Collagen punctal plugs $75 per plug
- Permanent silicone punctal plugs $215 per plug
- IPL and meibomian gland expression $720 for a course of 3 or 4 treatment sessions
- LipiFlow automated thermal pulsation treatment $1,750 for a single session (this includes consumables, which cost around $500)
Dry eye treatment consultation fees *:
* for these visits a short consultation fee of $60.35 also applies, for which Medicare will provide a rebate of $28.45.
Medicare rebates and bulk-billing
From the start of 2015 a number of important changes to benefits paid for optometric services introduced by the federal government took effect. As a consequence of this we were forced to also change our billing and claiming procedures; for pensioners, veterans, and healthcare and concession card holders, however, we will continue to bulk bill consultations (but not procedural fees) to Medicare.
For non-concessional patients, instead of bulk-billing we have made the transition to Medicare's Easyclaim system, which enables us to submit your claim to Medicare on the spot at our reception desk. If you have previously registered your banking details with Medicare, you will receive a rebate benefit to your nominated bank account almost immediately; if not, you will receive a benefit cheque in the mail. You may have experienced exactly this same system previously at your GP's as it is used extensively by them.
Unlike bilk-billing, there will usually be a gap between the fee you pay us and the rebate benefit you receive from Medicare. For an initial consultation, the benefit will usually be either $56.80 or $28.45, depending on circumstances such as the time since you last claimed for one. Neither Medicare nor private health insurance pays benefits for specialised additional procedures conducted in the course of your consultation that are charged for separately.
Consultation fee schedule - summary
Fee recommended by Optometry Australia
Medicare rebate (subject to eligibility)
Comprehensive Initial Consultation
$56.80 or $28.45
Brief Initial Consultation or Subsequent Consultation
$79.40 or $60.20
Contact Lens Review/Aftercare
Contact Lens Fitting (including corneal topography)
Complex Contact Lens Fitting
Mini-scleral or Post-graft Contact Lens Fitting
Computerised Perimetry (Visual Fields)
Optical Coherence Tomography (detailed scan)
Keratography for dry eye
Orthokeratology (not including corneal moulds)