You are expected to obtain and bring a referral from a general practitioner, or another specialist, when you present on the day of your consultation. Your doctor may also offer to fax the referral to our practice beforehand.

Why do I need a referral?

A referral helps our dermatologists most effectively understand your condition and prescribe the most appropriate treatment. It outlines your past medical history, any known allergies, and the specific issue(s) that your doctor would like addressed.

Referrals help us maintain a chain of treatment by ensuring that follow-up documentation, pathology results, and other correspondence are sent back to your regular doctor.

Medicare requires you to have an active referral to claim Medicare benefits for your visit. If you do not bring a referral on the day, we will not be able to lodge a Medicare claim on your behalf. You will still be responsible for paying your account in full on the day.

When is a referral valid?

Once you receive a referral, you must see a specialist within 12 months of the date on the referral. Referrals expire 12 months after the date they are first used for a specialist consultation (or 3 months if issued by another specialist).

To be valid, referrals must be:
    - dated on or before the day of your consultation
    - signed by your referring doctor

My GP gave me an indefinite referral

Some GPs write referrals as indefinite, but Assoc. Prof. Braue may decline to accept this at her discretion. Medicare policy clearly states that "referrals for longer than 12 months should only be used where the patient's clinical condition requires continuing care and management of a specialist or a consultant physician for a specific condition or specific conditions."

A routine skin check is not a 'specific condition', and will always be charged at the full consultation rate because it requires a full and careful history and thorough skin examination each time.

If you are presenting for a routine (usually 12-monthly) skin check and you are not being treated for a chronic dermatological condition, you will need a new referral. If your GP disputes this, please direct them to this link for an explanation.

I presented months ago but have a new condition now.

You will need to get a new referral for the new condition. This is a requirement of Medicare, which monitors delivery of health services in terms of a single 'course of treatment'. Each referral is only good for one course of treatment, and includes subsequent attendances for the continuing management of that condition.

For example, if you have a current referral for management of hair loss but want to see Assoc. Prof. Braue regarding a new mole, you would need a new referral for that visit as the mole represents a new course of treatment.

But I am a previous patient of Assoc. Prof. Braue.

Even if you are a previous patient but have not attended the clinic within the past 9 months, Medicare requires that you obtain a new referral.

What if my referral is for another doctor or address?

Any referral is given to you for the purpose of treating your condition. It may be addressed to any other dermatologist, or to Assoc. Prof. Braue at a different address.

Can I still see a doctor without a referral?

You can still attend the rooms without a referral, but you will not be able to claim the Medicare rebate. In any event, fees are due and payable in full on the day of your consultation and/or procedure. You may also receive a separate bill from the pathology provider to cover the cost of any necessary pathology services.