What is my Anaesthetist’s professional fee likely to be?
Each Anaesthetist who works within Bradford Anaesthetic Services is an independent practitioner who determines his/her own fees. These are based on a number of factors including time involved and the complexity of the anaesthetic.
Can I get an estimate of my Anaesthetist’s fee?
In order for you to get an estimate for the anaesthetic fee for your operation you can click on the link at the end of this section. This will take you to the Western Provident Association (WPA) fee schedule. The WPA is one of the Private Medical Insurance companies in the UK and their website includes a useful search engine that gives an indication of what they consider to be a reasonable benefit maximum. If you enter either the name of your operation or the operation code (OPCS code - available from your surgeon) it will give you a figure for the anaesthetic fee. While this is just an estimate of the fee you will be charged, most Consultants within Bradford Anaesthetic Services set their fees around this level and so it serves as a useful guide.
Why is this only an estimate?
Each Consultant Anaesthetist sets fees using different methods. The estimated fee is for the planned surgical procedure. and may vary if the planned procedure changes, if there are multiple procedures, if complex local anaesthetic blocks are required, or if a higher level of post operative care (for example intensive care) becomes necessary. Often these circumstances are anticipated and this will be discussed with you by your anaesthetist as part of your anaesthetic plan. If the requirement for a higher level of care is unexpected, we will endeavour to be transparent in the fee structure applied.
Will my health insurance cover the Anaesthetist’s fee?
For each surgical procedure Consultants set the fees they charge patients and Private Medical Insurers (PMIs) set benefit levels for their customers. The benefit "maximum" may vary considerably between PMIs and also depends on the type of policy held by the customer. In contrast, the professional fee set by the Consultant for each procedure will remain the same, irrespective of the patient's choice of PMI or policy. As a consequence the benefit provided by PMIs to their customers may not cover the full amount of a Consultant's fee. If this is the case, there will be a shortfall to be covered and you will be liable for this payment.
Can I find out if there is likely to be a shortfall?
Unfortunately, unlike WPA, some PMIs do not make their benefit schedules available. For this reason it is very important that you obtain a fee estimate before your surgery and check with your PMI the benefit level provided by your policy. If you remain unsure whether your PMI will pay all of the Anaesthetist’s fee you are encouraged to discuss this at the end of your pre-operative anaesthetic assessment.
What if I require a Regional Anaesthetic Technique (Nerve block)?
Certain surgical procedures, (e.g. shoulder surgery) require your anaesthetist to perform a nerve block to facilitate surgery and also provide you with optimal pain relief following your surgery. In the case of shoulder surgery, these nerve blocks are requested by your surgeon and incur an additional anaesthetic procedure fee. Not all PMIs will cover this fee, so it is important for you to ascertain your level of cover prior to surgery.
Patients who are undergoing complex surgical procedures or have other significant medical conditions may require a consultation with a Consultant Anaesthetist prior to admission for surgery. There will be an additional fee if a consultation is required.
Patients undergoing the procedures listed below should seek an estimate of the likely anaesthetic fee from our office as we find that PMIs do not generally cover the anaesthetic fee.
Groin repair surgery
Breast reconstruction surgery
Bradford Anaesthetic Services complies with the voluntary code of practice for billing private patients published by the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.