1. Your medical aid plan
    - Most patients who visit my practice know which medical aid they belong to but have no idea which plan they are on. The medical aid plan you have chosen, determines which benefits you have, and how much your medical aid will pay towards medical services.

  2. Which hospitals your medical aid insists you admit to
    - Many patients believe they can go to any hospital in an emergency – but do you know what is considered as an emergency? This is the definition provided by the Council of Medical Schemes: “An emergency medical condition means the sudden and, at the time, unexpected onset of a health condition that requires immediate medical treatment and/or an operation. If the treatment is not available, the emergency could result in weakened bodily functions, serious and lasting damage to organs, limbs or other body parts, or even death.” If these criteria are not met, and you decide that you are going to your nearest hospital, you might be confronted with huge co-payment.
    - Make sure you know where you may be operated – the closest hospital might not be the correct one.

  3. The scheme exclusions of your medical aid
    - Every medical aid has a list of conditions for which they will not pay. These are called scheme exclusions. Make sure you know what they are – if you need these services, you will have to pay for the costs incurred yourself.

  4. Co-payments applicable to doctors’ visits, medical tests or hospital admissions
    - Medical aids are prescriptive in this regard. Make sure you know what this will be. As healthcare provider I cannot keep track of every medical aid plan’s prescriptive rules. You only belong to one medical aid plan – make sure you know all the rules.

  5. What Gap cover is, and why should have it
    - Unless you are on the top plan of your medical aid, or have made adequate financial provision, you probably need gap cover. If you have gap cover, please make sure that you understand WHEN your gap cover is applicable, and when it is of no benefit.

  6. Knowledge of your medical aid plan, your gap cover, your medical aid plan’s designated service providers and what your medical aid covers is YOUR responsibility
    - As a patient you need to accept responsibility for this. It is impossible for your doctor or his practice staff to know all the details. And it is not their responsibility – it is yours. If you don’t know, NOW is the time to obtain a copy of your benefit plan and to study it VERY carefully.

  7. Confidentiality of your information
    - As healthcare providers we are bound by confidentiality. This means that you cannot instruct a third party to obtain your medical information from us telephonically. We will need your written consent. Should you require any medical information, please email us, and give us written consent to disclose the information to the third party of your choice.

  8. You are responsible to update us with your newest medical aid information and changes to personal details
    - Please remember to inform us if you have changed medical aid plans at the beginning of the year. Update us with changes in telephone numbers and addresses, so that we can keep our records up to date.

  9. You will have to sign a new patient-doctor agreement when you visit us in 2019
    - Our patient-doctor agreements are only valid for the calendar year in which you signed it, and in 2019 we require your written consent to send your medical account to you, to disclose ICD10 codes to your medical aid, and how we communicate with you regarding your appointments and test results.

  10. Logbox is a handy new app
    - To contribute to sustainable living, we try to save on paper and printing costs. We will start using forms which can be completed electronically, rather than printed. We are also making use of Logbox. You can read more about it here – this will save you time and effort, as you can upload your information to Logbox, and easily share it securely with your health care provider.
    - When you have an appointment with me, you will be sent a Logbox link, which will allow you to update your information electronically and allow you to sign our new patient-doctor agreement, without having to print anything. If you are not registered on Logbox yet, do it now.