Frequently Asked Questions
Would you like to know more about the ins and outs of visiting Northern Rivers Podiatry? We’ve compiled a list of common questions about what you might need to prepare for your first appointment, all the way to payment options and more.
Your Questions Answered
Do I need a GP referral to see a Podiatrist?
No. All podiatrists at our Lismore & Casino clinics are classified as primary health care providers; meaning you do not need a GP referral to book in an appointment.
What should I bring on the day of my appointment?
If attending the clinic for the first time, our experienced and helpful reception staff will make contact informing you of the supportive practicalities to best help you with your care. Generally, we recommend that if you are coming in for an initial assessment or biomechanical assessment that you:
- Bring a selection of your current footwear
- Bring relevant x-rays or scans
- Bring current orthotics or any you may have used in the past
- Dress in loose-fitting and comfortable clothing.
How much does it cost for an appointment?
Patients attending Northern Rivers Podiatry should note that we are a private billing practice with consultation ranging from a minimum fee of $80.00 - $193.99 for initial appointments. It is our policy that payment for your consultation be made up front. Fees may be paid by cash, EFTPOS (cheque or savings) or Credit Card.
Those with a valid doctor issued Enhanced Primary Care Plan can claim the current Medicare rebate of $53.80. In most cases, we can lodge for this amount to be electronically transferred into your bank account on the day of your appointment. Funds are usually transferred within 24 hours.
I am unable to make it to the clinic can you see me at home?
Yes, we provide a home visit service. These appointments are usually done outside our normal clinical schedule and incur an upfront fee of $200.00. On top of this fee, you will incur the charges for regular appointments and service types required which will be billed to you at the discretion of the Podiatrist providing treatment. If the above aligns with your needs, please call us to discuss further.
Do you accept the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)?
Our Podiatrists are not registered with the NDIS but can still see a range of NDIS patients who are self-managed or plan managed provided they meet the criteria outlined in our NDIS Prerequisite Form. Our Podiatrists have a niche for treating and working with people who have disabilities and our clinical facilities are excellent providing:
- on-site disability parking in our private carpark at our Lismore clinic
- ease of access through our disability friendly clinic
- specially equipped disabled toilet facilities.
How do I book an initial appointment under the NDIS?
First you must fill out our Northern Rivers Podiatry NDIS Prerequisite Form completed and returned to the clinic. For more information, please call us and we’ll help you with our processes. This is so we can help you and every participant on the NDIS who require our services to get the best care.
Does Medicare cover Podiatry?
Medicare only covers podiatry for patients who have an Enhanced Primary Care Plan (EPC) issued by their doctor. Please ensure that the referring GP makes the referral out to ‘Northern Rivers Podiatry’ and not individual practitioners. A Medicare rebate is available for up to a maximum of five appointments (or the number of appointments allocated by the referring Doctor ranging from 1 -5 appointments) per calendar year. It is the responsibility of the patient to be aware of how many appointments they have used for other allied health services. If your EPC has expired or the rebate has already been allocated to other service providers e.g., a Physiotherapist, then the standard service fees will apply.
Does my private health insurance cover Podiatry?
Podiatry care is usually covered under a person’s extras cover in private health insurance policies. We recommend checking with your private health insurance provider prior to the appointment to find out if your level of cover is eligible to receive a rebate. Of course, if you need help with item numbers and our costs, you can phone reception and speak with our friendly reception team.
Do you accept Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) referrals?
Yes, at Northern Rivers Podiatry we accept DVA referrals from your GP (doctor). Please have a current D904 form or equivalent and any extra information, reports or medical imaging that may be of benefit and could be used to contribute to a better clinical outcome for you by your Podiatrist.
Do you accept patients under workers or motor vehicle accident compensation?
Yes we do. To be seen under workers or motor vehicle accident compensation we require a referral from your GP and a letter from the Insurance Company approving the initial consultation and medical report.
What is the difference between generic inserts and custom orthotics?
A lot of people use the terms inserts and orthotics interchangeably, but they are fundamentally different.
Inserts / Generic Orthotics
You can buy inserts at a local chemist or footwear shop without a prescription or a medical diagnosis. They are generic in their design and provide cushioning or different levels of support within shoes. Due to their mass production, they are cheaper to purchase and made from gel, plastic or foam which tends to compress and become ineffective after 6 months of use.
Many people refer to inserts as ‘generic orthotics’ too. When properly matched to the foot complaint and the right size selected, generic inserts can be an absolute lifesaver for various issues like people who work on their feet all day and experience heel pain.
Custom orthotics are completely different. Our podiatrists conduct a biomechanical assessment, 3D foot scan and video gait analysis to engineer personalised orthotics which consider your pathology, biomechanics, footwear and lifestyle.
What different types of orthotics are there?
We love orthotics and how they can be specifically matched to a person’s unique situation and pathology. That’s why we provide the full scope of orthotic options. The different types of orthotics include:
- Off the shelf insert (generic orthotic)
- Modified prefabricated orthotic
- Custom foot orthotic
- Ankle-foot Orthoses (AFO’s)
Should I remove my nail polish before my appointment?
At Northern Rivers Podiatry we use expensive and fine equipment on toenails so we kindly ask that all our patients have removed their nail polish and shellac prior to coming to all their appointments.
Is it safe to see a Podiatrist when pregnant?
Yes, during pregnancy the feet can experience changes due to hormonal responses elicited during gestation. If you feel unsure of whether it is suitable for you, then it is encouraged you consult with your GP first. Podiatrists can assist with foot care such as managing ingrown toenails when feet swell or recommend appropriate footwear due to the physical changes taking place with foot postures.
Do I or my child have to be a certain age to see a Podiatrist?
No, our valued patients at Northern Rivers Podiatry range from ages 0 to 100+. Believe it or not, there is no age barrier for when someone might need to consult with a foot health care practitioner. Our Podiatrists from our Lismore Clinic offer excellent up-to-date information and care for every age group.
Do I go to my GP or a Podiatrist if my child has toenail problems?
The answer is both. Both types of medical practitioners can address your child’s toenail problem. That said, general practitioners (GPs) deal with a very large scope of physical conditions within their daily practice. Our Lismore podiatrists treat feet and toenails on a daily basis, so have a wealth of experience and specialised training.
When should my baby start wearing shoes?
The first thing to share is that children will have the motivation to walk when they are physically and mentally ready. Children can start walking within such a wide timeframe, anywhere between 10 to 18 months or even earlier or later.
Shoes are really not needed inside as wearing them or even just socks can make it more difficult to stay balanced. Babies love using their toes to grip onto the floor. We totally understand that it isn’t practical or safe for your little one to be trotting in public spaces barefoot. In these instances make sure your shoe choice has good grip and is made from natural fibres so the feet stay cool and not too sweaty. Also make sure they are light and have enough space for the toes, but not too much space that they fall off easily.
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