Consultation Fees

Collins Street Optometrists

Initial comprehensive eye examination

Typically the fee for most comprehensive initial eye examinations comes to $153.90, made up of $99.30 for the consultation and $54.60 for Optos widefield imaging.  This consultation usually takes 30 to 40 minutes and routinely includes optical coherence tomography (OCT).  In many other practices these procedures would attract additional fees.  By comparison, Optometry Australia recommends a fee of $139.54 for an initial consultation without widefield imaging or OCT.  For initial consultations not requiring a comprehensive assessment the fee is usually less.

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.  For example, corneal topography is performed where keratoconus is suspected, more detailed optical coherence tomography may be required for diabetic patients or those with macular disease, or other procedures such as visual fields or pupillometry may be needed where there has been a sudden reduction or loss of vision.  Fees for these procedures are billed in addition to the consultation fee – please see below for further details of these additional fees.

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 $67.50 applies.  By comparison, Optometry Australia recommends fees of $68.16 (brief initial) and $89.82 (subsequent) for these consultations; Medicare provides a rebate of $31.30 for these items.  Again if 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 Optos widefield retinal imaging is $54.60 – this procedure is particularly important for patients with higher levels of myopia (short-sightedness), diabetes, or symptoms such as flashes and/or floaters that may indicate a retinal tear or detachment.  Widefield retinal imaging is also important for patients attending the practice for the first time in order to record a baseline image of the retina, and is subsequently performed at ongoing comprehensive examinations.

The fee for detailed optical coherence tomography (as opposed to the normal screening scan provided as part of your initial consultation) is $80.90 – 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 $49.70 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 $80.90 – this procedure usually attracts a Medicare rebate of $59.60

If a contact lens after-care is performed in addition to the initial consultation, the fee for doing so is $49.60 – further information on contact lens fees appears below.

Contact Lenses

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 $49.70 (usually performed at the initial consultation)
  • 30-minute visit to fit the lenses and/or teach lens handling and care $99.30
  • 15-minute visit to perform an after-care review of the lenses $49.60 

If all the above components are required and a bulk fee is applied, the total charge is $198.60 (compared with the Optometry Australia recommended fee of $342.95).  Bulk fees cover as many visits as are needed to achieve a satisfactory lens fit.  A Medicare rebate of $155.15 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 $332.60 (the Optometry Australia recommended fee is $548.45) and usually a Medicare rebate of $195.80 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 $499.20

Similarly orthokeratology frequently requires mulitple visits and corneal topography measurements.  Our usual fee for orthokeratology consists of $640 for the corneal retaining lenses (although higher fees apply for more complex lenses) and $1,305 in professional fitting fees – a total of $1,945.  A more detailed break up of how these professional fees are made up appears on our orthokeratology page.

Comprehensive dry eye consultations, dry eye diagnostic and treatment procedures

Depending on your circumstances, often an initial consultation will first be performed to determine whether or not it is necessary and appropriate to subsequently schedule a comprehensive dry eye assessment.  The usual fee for the initial consultation directed towards dry eye is $99.30 plus tear osmolarity analysis $42.30, a total of  $141.60

There is considerable variety in the causes and ways that dry eye presents, so the investigative pathway is not always the same.  Identifying the type and cause of your dry eye can be a journey, and some journeys are longer than others.  The same is true for management.

Where indicated, comprehensive dry eye assessments generally take up to 60 minutes and are performed at a subsequent visit.  A significant component of the comprehensive dry eye assessment is Oculus K5 keratography.  An additional fee of $68.20 is charged for comprehensive dry eye assessments that involve K5 keratography, and this fee may sometimes attract a Medicare rebate of $31.30 

For simple dry eye reviews not requiring a comprehensive re-assessment, the usual fee is $67.50 plus tear osmolarity analsys $42.30, a total of $109.80; this fee will normally attract a Medicare rebate of $31.30

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 $42.30
  • Blephex lid cleaning $53.70 *
  • Blephasteam and meibomian gland expression $53.70 *
  • Lid  margin debridement $53.70*
  • Collagen punctal plugs $84.00 per plug
  • Permanent silicone punctal plugs $251.40 per plug
  • eye-light® LLLT $840 for treatment course of up to 4 sessions
  • eye-light® OPE IPL $840 for treatment course of up to 4 treatment sessions
  • eye-light® LLLT and OPE IPL combined treatments $1,180 for up to 4 sessions
  • LipiFlow automated thermal pulsation treatment $1,055 for a single session (consumables included)

* for these visits a short consultation fee of $67.50 also applies, for which Medicare will provide a rebate of $31.30

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, we provide Medicare’s Easyclaim system, which enables us to submit your claim to Medicare on the spot at our reception desk.  You will receive a rebate benefit to the bank account you have nominated with Medicare almost immediately.  You may have experienced exactly this same system previously at your GP as it is used extensively by doctors.

Unlike bilk-billing, there will usually be a gap between the fee you pay us and the rebate benefit you receive from Medicare.  The benefit will usually be either $62.45 or $31.30, depending on circumstances such as the time since you last claimed for an initial consultation.  Medicare does not pay benefits for specialised additional procedures conducted in the course of your consultation that are charged for separately.

Reception Collins Street Optomestrists

Consultation fee schedule - summary

ItemOur feeFee recommended by Optometry AustraliaMedicare rebate (subject to eligibility)
Comprehensive Initial Consultation$99.30$139.54$62.45 or $31.30
Brief Initial Consultation or Subsequent Consultation$67.50$89.82$31.30
Contact Lens Review/Aftercare$49.60$31.30
Contact Lens Fitting (including corneal topography)$198.60$342.95$155.15
Complex Contact Lens Fitting$332.60$548.45$195.80
Mini-scleral or Post-graft Contact Lens Fitting$499.20$548.45$195.80
Computerised Perimetry (Visual Fields)$80.90$128.30$59.60
Optical Coherence Tomography (detailed scan)$80.90 
Optos Widefield Retinal Photography$54.60
Corneal Topography$49.70
Keratography for dry eye$68.20
Lenstar Biometry$37.75
Orthokeratology (not including corneal lenses)$1,305

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