Appointments and Billing

Can I access my rebate at the time of the consultation?
IT DEPENDS. If you are have registered your bank account details with Medicare, we will be able to process your rebate back to your account at the time of payment. If not, you will need to take the receipt to Medicare.
Can I see you at a clinic at John Hunter Children’s Hospital?
NO. This is not my decision but a decision made by management of the hospital in order to limit clinics
Do I need a referral?
IT DEPENDS. There are many reasons for referrals. One of the least understood is that if you want the full Medicare rebate, you must ensure we have a valid referral before the scheduled appointment time. Although our friendly staff will usually remind you if your referral is due to expire, it is your responsibility to obtain this. We cannot give you the full rebate without this.
Do you “bulk-bill”?
IT DEPENDS. Our policy is to give financial consideration to families in significant financial hardship who require our specific expertise. To assess this, we will ring your GP or referring doctor prior to the appointment. In some cases, this consideration will involve accepting the Commonwealth Government payment – generally running at well less than ½ of our standard fee.
Do you complete forms or other documents directly relating to my child's health?
YES. Due to the time and effort involved, they will only be completed if you tell us beforehand and only during appointment times. You may, of course, ask your GP to complete these.
Do you see both “public” and “private” patients at the rooms?
YES. We do not prioritise clinical services on the basis of medical insurance status and are able to offer admission to either a public or private hospital.
Does Dr Cassey run to time?
We schedule consultations so that neither you nor we are pressured by time. However, there are occasions when Dr Cassey will be late. Some factors that influence that are: a complicated surgical problem arises; parents or child need more time than usual to consider options; Dr Cassey is late to arrive or needs to leave suddenly because of a surgical emergency. Should this occur, be assured that we are very sorry and will either fit you in on the day or re-schedule the appointment.
How about telephone advice, results from investigations, requests for prescriptions, pathology and radiology from parents/ guardians?
IT DEPENDS. I am happy to supply these within clearly defined circumstances. These must include all the following: I have either recently seen the patient, there is no risk that their clinical status has changed and no explanation or counselling is involved.
How long is my appointment?
Standard appointment times are 25minutes for an initial consultation (a new problem) and 15minutes for a subsequent consultation (follow up). 
We offer longer appointment times according to need.
How soon can I get an appointment?

IT DEPENDS. This varies according to the urgency of the problem and we allocate a number of urgent slots each day to accommodate for this. Non urgent appointments will usually be dealt with within 3weeks

If I have private insurance, will that cover the consultation fee?
NOT USUALLY. If you are an Australian resident, the answer is “No”. If you are an Australian visitor with an “international visitor” private fund, the answer is “YES” – up to their agreed limit
Is there parking on-site?
YES. There is limited parking at the rear of the rooms and parking on street.
What are your usual opening hours?
Our usual hours are: 
Monday 9.30am-5pm
Tuesday 10am-5pm 
Wednesday 9.30am-5pm 
Thursday 9.30am-5pm 
Friday 9.30am-2pm 
These can change a little depending on emergency surgical workload, professional commitments and annual leave
What forms of payment do you accept?
Payment may be by cash, credit card or EFTPOS.
What if I am running late?
We will try very hard to accommodate you. However, we cannot guarantee that we can make your appointment slot longer if it intrudes onto the next appointment and is unfair to others. The fee is the same if you are on time or late.
What is the cost of a consultation?
Costs depend on whether this is a new or subsequent consultation and whether it is standard length or prolonged. Our fees change annually along with the Medicare schedule and we will always tell you any costs you will incur prior to finalising the appointment
What is your 'No Show' Policy?

It is your responsibility to remember your appointment date and time.

We will try to contact you by phone/ SMS a day or so beforehand to remind you and will leave a message on whatever answering service you have nominated. We understand there may be many reasons for non-attendance.

However, failure to attend appointments denies other patients the opportunity to access medical care earlier and creates additional work in follow-up for practice staff, your referring doctor and myself. 

So… If you miss 1 appointment without appropriate prior notification* we charge a cancellation fee and this must be paid prior to accepting a new booking.

        If you miss 3 appointments without appropriate prior notification* we will not offer any more. 

*appropriate prior notification is by telephone (leaving a message on our answering machine is OK) or email to at least 1 business day in advance or, in unusual circumstances, as soon as possible on the day.

What should I bring to my appointment?
Your referral letter if this is an initial consultation or you have been asked to bring an updated referral.
Any test results, ultrasound scans or other imaging. Except in unusual circumstances, we require hard copies of the images themselves – a CD is NOT acceptable

Medicare card with your child listed on it

Private health care card details if you are in one

Payment for the consultation

Your child. We know this may seem obvious… sometimes it doesn’t happen

Your child must be accompanied by someone with legal responsibility for them - a parent or guardian. Again, we know this may seem obvious… sometimes it doesn’t happen

Will I receive a Medicare rebate?
IT DEPENDS. All Australian residents and certain categories of visitors to Australia will get a Medicare rebate. This amount depends on whether it was an initial or subsequent consultation and whether you have a vaild referral.


Are you “on call” in the public system?

YES. I do a 1:4 on-call at John Hunter Childrens Hospital for babies, children and young people under 16yrs

If my child has seen you in the public hospital when you were on-call, can they see you afterwards in rooms?
YES. I see my job as being responsible for all aftercare. As Medicare require a referral to a specialist when you see them outside a hospital, you will usually need to get one from your GP before making this appointment
Where do you operate?

I operate at 3 locations:  Warners Bay Private hospital, John Hunter Children’s hospital and The Maitland hospital.

Will you come see my baby if is born in a private hospital?
IT DEPENDS. The only private maternity hospital I go to is Newcastle Private. Fortunately, it is unusual for a baby to need to see a surgeon soon after birth. If they are that sick, they will usually need to be transferred to a neonatal intensive care unit at a public hospital.

For referrers

Do you do teaching for GP’s
YES. I’m always happy to speak at a practice or network group
Who do I send reports to?
Consultation letters are sent directly to the referring doctor and other relevant healthcare professionals after each appointment. We do not routinely copy parents/ guardians into these. It is up to the referring doctor whether they wish to release information contained in that report
Will I look at radiology & and other results?
YES. The most holistic and individualised opinion comes from seeing a child. At times, reviewing radiology or pathology can either avoid a consultation or additional investigations can be arranged prior to the consultation.

For everyone

Do you have any "non-negotiable” positions?
YES. Having respect for the rights of each individual, including those who cannot articulate their wishes, we will not agree to surgical procedures without the understanding and consent of all relevant parties (parents or guardians) OR where the medical indication is in anyway dubious e.g a request for circumcision without medical grounds in a baby or young child.
Does anyone speak another language apart from English?
Sorry, no. Dr Cassey has some Spanish. We will arrange an interpreter for you if needed
What about guardianship issues?

We will not conduct any consultation unless your child is accompanied by a parent or an appointed guardian.

This does not include, for example, a friend or an aunt/ uncle.

As described above in “What is your privacy policy?”, we expect sharing of information should occur directly between parents – even if there is conflict and communication breakdown. 

We will neither divulge information to another parent without the permission of the parent attending the consultation, nor, except in emergencies, will we accept consent to procedures or invasive investigations without the consent of all legally prescribed parties. It is your obligation to inform us of custody issues (including any court orders in place). 

If custodial arrangements and domestic disputes interfere with the provision of clinical services, we will all be wasting each other’s time. We will not continue until these are resolved. The safety and wellbeing of the child/young person is paramount. 

If we suspect a child is at risk of neglect and abuse (including witnessing domestic violence), or their safety cannot be guaranteed, we are legally obliged to report the matter to the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS)

What is your privacy policy?

Please see our privacy policy page.

Who do you see?

Babies, children and young people <16years old with a wide range of congenital and acquired conditions in both general and urological surgery.

This includes: open and laparoscopic (“key-hole”) surgeries, lumps and bumps, external or internal uro-genital problems, upper and lower gastrointestinal problems, antenatally detected anomalies, extra-cardiac thoracic…. and so on.

Why private practice?
The decision to move into mixed private and public practice after 17yrs of working solely in public hospitals was made because of the increasing difficulties in providing good quality, equitable care in that model.
Will you take phone calls whilst consulting?
IT DEPENDS. I regret the inconvenience this causes to families during a consultation. At the same time, I hope that those affected by this, understand the priorities and consequences of providing a service for both GP’s and hospital staff about urgent and emergency cases.