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Appointments

Please read information below before sending a referral or calling the practice:

NEW PATIENTS:

Please note that Dr Zotti considers for appointments new referrals for patients with private health insurance covering spinal procedures (Gold / Silver generally) with an Australian Medicare number. For information about triaging process, see below*. In the interest of time, only one body region can be assessed in depth per appointment (e.g. back and lower limbs, neck and upper limbs).

 

Unfortunately, patients without the above care coverage (private health insurance) and privately insured patients seeking treatment who have a motor vehicle/legal claim attached to their injury will need to seek referral elsewhere. Patients without Medicare will unfortunately not be able to be seen (even if they have Private insurance). We currently do not accept new DVA referrals or new referrals for patients under care of pain physicians.

Please note that to be considered for open operative intervention, patients must be based within driving distance of the clinics (i.e. South East Queensland / Northern New South Wales) and must attend all appointments in person.

 

EXISTING PATIENTS:

Returning and former patients will require new referrals for Dr Zotti to consider offering an appointment. Previous patients with private health insurance that have not been seen for more than 2 years will require to be booked as a 'new patient' as this allows for more consultation time. Workcover patients without existing booked appointments, patients with closed Workcover \ legal claims or patients previously discharged from the clinic will not be reappointed for treatment, even if private insurance has been taken out. Dr Zotti has not been accepting new Workcover claims since October 2023. 

TRIAGE AND REFERRAL CONSIDERATION:

Please note that referrals sent in / requests for appointments will not be automatically accepted and appointments offered as Dr Zotti reviews and triages the referrals according to suitability and urgency for treatment - if this is the case, the staff will inform you if Dr Zotti assesses that he cannot offer the appropriate care.

 

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

A fee is payable for the first and subsequent appointments (please see Fees section in Patient Info). The team will send you a new patient form to complete prior to your appointment.

 

Please also note that you need a current referral for any appointment or treatment by a specialist and also to be able to claim a rebate from Medicare.  GP referrals last for 12 months while specialist referrals last for 3 months only. Please ensure that your referral is up to date prior to your appointment - although we do send SMS reminders to update your referral, it is the responsibility of the patient to ensure this for (A) Medicare (B) legal reasons and (C) in order to obtain your rebate. Your appointment will be cancelled and offered to another patient on the cancellation list if this is not received 2 days prior.

If you are a patient of Dr Zotti’s with a clinical question/or matter you will need discuss this at your next clinic appointment, as these enquiries are not answered or actioned via email or phone call. Dr Zotti will no longer provide clinical advice via emails or from patient telephone calls and referrals (e.g. MRI, injections and other) unless completed during an in clinic consultation.

A spinal pain diagram being completed, while not essential, is very helpful for your assessment - please see spinal pain diagram on the contact and Q&As page and send into info@backneck.com.au

Prepare for your first appointment.

 

 

 

1. Regarding your referral - we need to receive a copy of this before you are offered an appointment:

  • have your GP or referring doctor send a referral via medical objects (preferred); OR

  • have your GP or referring Doctor email or fax a referral; OR

  • obtain and send (via email) a referral prior to your first appointment.

Ensure your doctor has sent us your written referral preferably via medical objects but otherwise via fax or email. Your GP referral lasts for 12 months and referral from non-GP specialist lasts for 3 months. You need a current referral for any appointment or treatment by a specialist and also to be able to claim a rebate from Medicare; 

 

2. You will be sent a 'New patient link' [Unless you express that you do not have a working email] to fill out which includes information about your health, spine, medications and general information. Use this as an opportunity to give a summary regarding yourself. If you cannot fill out the web link:

- If you have had previous spinal surgery and / or injections on your spine please bring any relevant information 

- Please ensure you have a copy of your current medications. Please note Dr Zotti does not prescribe medication unless it is during the postoperative period for operated patients.

- It is helpful to write down a list of any very specific or important questions you may have as there is often a lot of discussion and information at the first consultation to process.

You may wish to review the Q&As section for some commonly asked questions prior to your appointment.

3. Bring films of x-rays (last 24months) specific to your condition If you have them and they were not taken at: South Coast Radiology, Qscan, Queensland Xray, Gold Coast Radiology, North Coast Radiology, Lumus, Mermaid Beach Radiology, I-MED, Panorama Radiology, Radiant Radiology or Advanced Radiology - Dr Zotti has electronic access to view images on these providers so there is no need to bring recent hard copy Xrays for these providers.

Important - please note the consult is for a specialist assessment and opinion of your spinal condition, not a guarantee of a diagnosis or proceeding to treatment/ or surgical treatment either with Dr Zotti or another colleague. It may well be advised after assessment that your condition and circumstance lead to a recommendation of non surgical treatment.

Also, Dr Zotti does not prescribe medication unless it is within Dr Zotti’s post operative period and will only be one script (for surgical but not pain procedure patients). During the initial consultation reception will provide a spinal scoring sheet for you to fill out.

If you are a patient of Dr Zotti’s with a clinical question/or matter you will need discuss this at your next clinic appointment, as these enquiries are not answered or actioned via email or phone call. Dr Zotti will no longer provide clinical advice via emails or from patient telephone calls and referrals (e.g. MRI, injections and other) unless completed during an in clinic consultation.

Locations:

  • BUNDALL (Central Gold Coast) appointments:

KIESER Shop 1A, 106 Bundall Rd, BUNDALL, QLD, 4217

Parking is at the front of KIESER, Bundall, in the designated KIESER car parks

  • TUGUN (Southern Gold Coast) appointments:

Suite 2B, Level 2, John Flynn Medical Centre, TUGUN, QLD, 4224

Parking is at John Flynn Hospital car parks

We look forward to seeing you and if you have any questions, please contact us via phone: 0499 632 222 or email: info@backneck.com.au.

Fee for the first appointment is payable on the day via EFTPOS –savings & credit card surcharge applies, cash. We do not accept cheques.

  • First in clinic consultation*: $400 for private patients as of 1/1/24– the rebate will depend whether you have recently been seen in hospital by Dr Zotti or whether you are seeing him for the first time in the rooms. *This includes patients previously reviewed as a hospital inpatient and previous patients not reviewed for over 2 years by Dr Zotti.

  • Subsequent in clinic consultation for private patients is $200 as of 1/1/24.

  • Dr Zotti will no longer provide referrals (eg MRI and other) unless completed during an in clinic consultation.

 

Please note that Dr Zotti currently is accepting referrals for patients with private health insurance covering spinal surgery (Gold / Silver). Please do not assume that in sending the completed documents that a referral will be automatically accepted and an appointment offered as Dr Zotti reviews and triages the referrals according to suitability for treatment - if this is the case, the staff will inform you if Dr Zotti feels that he cannot offer the appropriate care as soon as practicable. There is a fee payable for the first appointment (please see Fee section in patient info). Also, should you cancel within 24 hours notice, our policy is that the subsequent appointment is prepaid for it to be confirmed.

 

Please also note that you need a current referral for any appointment or treatment by a specialist and also to be able to claim a rebate from Medicare.  GP referrals last for 12 months while specialist referrals last for 3 months only.

N.B. Dr Zotti will no longer fill in documentation for the 'Disability support pension', 'Total and permanent Disability' or 'compassionate release of superannuation funds' for non-operative patients as a practice policy - If this is the predominant reason for your requested appointment we strongly advise you to cancel and seek alternate referral to prevent disappointment.

National disability support scheme paperwork will be considered for patients well known to Dr Zotti (i.e. not at first meeting). Total and permanent disability for operated patients will be considered on a case-case basis as to appropriateness and will attract a fee depending on the superannuation provider.

There are specialists accredited in impairment assessment who are more appropriate for impairment assessments.

* TRIAGING PROCESS:

Dr Zotti aims to assess and manage patients in a timely and appropriate fashion but he currently triages referrals according to clinical information and urgency bearing in mind time urgent conditions that may require early decisions about intervention.

As a guide regarding urgent/early versus elective referrals:

Early referrals:

  • Emergency conditions such as trauma, tumor, infection

  • Sudden weakness or disco-ordination of limbs such as in rapid onset foot drop, new bladder/bowel dysfunction or 'arm drop'

  • Intractable pain in patients with demonstrated stenosis on imaging that have failed injections

  • Cervical myelopathy and radiculopathy with neurological changes and/or inability to walk

  • Disc herniations with neurological changes (other than pain alone) - the majority of patients will not require surgery in the acute phases unless the presentation is intractable pain or neurological loss

  • Persistent nerve pain despite conservative treatment (cervical radicular pain, sciatica and neurogenic claudication)

Elective referrals:

  • Chronic and axial low back and neck pain (e.g. discogenic and facet pain)

  • Deformity (scoliosis/kyphosis) without neurology

  • Peripheral nerve compression without weakness (e.g. carpal tunnel)

  • Coccydynia and sacroiliac joint pain

  • Consideration for neuromodulation and spinal cord stimulators

Considered:

  • Second opinions [Selected based upon appropriateness]

  • Medicolegal opinions

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