Consultation Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to bring for my appointment?

You will need to bring: your referral, any scans (i.e. X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds or MRIs) concerning the affected area and any relevant information from previous doctors or allied health professionals. The more information you bring to the consultation the more accurately Dr Cutbush can diagnose your condition and make accurate recommendations regarding your shoulder condition.
Our office prefers to receive as much information prior to your appointment as possible so please ring the office and arrange to send your referral and scans in. In many cases we can retrieve your scans electronically prior to your appointment and Dr Cutbush will often go through your scans prior to your appointment to ensure that everything he needs for your appointment is available.
if unsure please ring and ask the office.

How do I find the Shoulder Clinic?

Hospitals can sometimes be confusing. At Brisbane Private Hospital, three buildings joined together form the hospital complex.

This video will help you find the office from the front entrance.

Why do I need a referral?

You will need to bring a current referral to enable your consultation fee to be claimed through Medicare. This is a strict requirement of Medicare. Medicare specifies that a referral from a General Practitioner covers your visits for 12 months and a referral from a specialist doctor lasts for 3 months.

Without a current referral you will not be able to claim anything back for your consultation from medicare; nor will you be able to claim anything from your health fund or medicare for your surgery fees if you require surgery.

A referral is also essential for Dr Cutbush as it provides important details about your present problem as well as relevant information regarding your medical history.

What should I wear to the consultation?

Dr Cutbush will need to examine the area of your body you are seeing him for which for most consultations is your shoulder.  If you are female and seeing Dr Cutbush for your shoulder consider wearing something such as a sleeveless shirt or a singlet under your shirt that you can leave on while your shoulder is examined. If you are male it is best to wear a loose-fitting shirt or t-shirt that is easy to take on and off.

Do I need an MRI of my shoulder?

When you book your appointment, if you believe you need further investigations, such as an MRI, mention this to the reception staff. Particularly if you live outside of Brisbane, as many of our patients do. Please keep in mind that it is usually not possible to easily book an MRI at short notice, and it may take a week or two to arrange an MRI or other significant investigations. Consequently, if you feel that this may be an issue for you, mention it to the reception staff. They will ask you to send in your referral and the written reports from any previous scans. Dr Cutbush will then be able to review these documents and determine if further investigations are likely to be required prior to your initial visit and bookings can be arranged for these investigations.

What if I need surgery?

You will need to see Dr Cutbush for an initial consultation before surgery can be organised. Should Dr Cutbush advise you during your consultation that you will need surgery, a date and a quote can be given to you at the time of your consultation.

Do I need an X-ray before my appointment?

A common question that is asked by people is whether they need an X-ray prior to their follow up appointment.

Despite the advance of MRI and CT imaging X-rays remain a very important investigation for patients with orthopaedic conditions.

As a general rule if you have had a fracture that is being treated either by surgery or by immobilisation an X-ray will be helpful in monitoring your progress.  If you are unsure please contact the office, as it is possible for you to have the X-ray before you come in or have a booking made for the X-ray immediately prior to your appointment.

What if I live outside Brisbane?

Many of Dr Cutbush’s patients fly to Brisbane or drive from outside Brisbane for their appointment with him.  If you do live outside Brisbane consider asking Dr Cutbush’s staff to setup a telehealth consultation with Dr Cutbush first. A telehealth consultation costs $230 of which you will be get a rebate of $110.75 (as of 28/03/2019). You will need to have some paperwork emailed out to you that you fill in and send back and Dr Cutbush will need a copy of any scans you have had as well as a copy of the reports. 
Medicare laws require that you obtain a referral from your GP to Dr Cutbush otherwise you will have to pay the full cost of the consultation. 
While the reports of any investigations are helpful, for Dr Cutbush to consider any surgical treatment to recommend to you he will need to have available your actual scans for him to review.  There are many radiology practices that partner with Inteleviewer in which case Dr Cutbush’s staff will be able to easily download the scans to his server for him to review.  Otherwise you will need to obtain a CDROM of the scan and post it in the mail to Dr Cutbush’s office.

While a skype or facetime consult does not replace a face to face consultation it will allow Dr Cutbush to make an assessment of what your problem is likely to be and to arrange a schedule of treatment.  If surgery is recommended you will usually be scheduled to see Dr Cutbush on a Tuesday afternoon and time booked for surgery the next day.  Any scans that you need to have can be scheduled for Tuesday morning before seeing Dr Cutbush.

Dr Cutbush will confirm with you when he sees you on in his office exactly what treatment you require before going ahead with surgery. Just because surgery has been scheduled doesn’t mean that surgery has to go ahead.

Most of your postoperative follow-up can be done using telehealth consultations with skype or facetime in conjunction with your physio sending reports down to Dr Cutbush.  Any postop X-rays or scans can be obtained locally where you live and sent down prior to the telehealth review.

Can the Radiology Practice that does my scans send them to Dr Cutbush?

We find that many Radiology practices often suggest that they will send the scans to Dr Cutbush.  In our experience, what is sent is the report. Dr Cutbush needs to review your scan not just read the report. Dr Cutbush needs to review the scans to ensure that the treatment that he is recommending is the correct treatment for you. He cannot pass that responsibility to someone else.

A few Radiology groups are set up with web access that allows Dr Cutbush to download your scans to his PACS server, a good example of this is Inteleviewer.  Not all radiology practices have Inteleviewer access because it is expensive. If your Radiology practice uses Inteleviewer Dr Cutbush will be able to easily obtain, view and download your scan images. The office keeps a list of
Radiology practices that have inteleviewer and will be able to advise you.

How much will my appointment cost?

Your initial consultation will cost $230.00 and your subsequent consultation will cost $98.00. Please be aware that sometimes extra fees may be charged (e.g. if an injection is needed or if a cast is needed)

What hospital does Dr Cutbush operate at?

Dr Cutbush operates at the Brisbane Private Hospital.

What days does Dr Cutbush operate on?

Dr Cutbush operates on a Monday and Wednesday. Times will vary and this can be discussed with the staff when you schedule your surgery. Please be aware that on some occasions he may be unavailable.

What days does Dr Cutbush consult on?

Dr Cutbush consults on a Tuesday and Thursday. Please be aware that on some occasions he may be unavailable.

Dr Cutbush works every Friday in the Queensland public hospital system. He works mainly at the Mater Hospital South Brisbane and also at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and Cairns Base Hospital.

How do I know what time to arrive for my scheduled surgery?

Initially you will be given an admission time of 6:00am.  You will be asked to ring Dr Cutbush’s office once the list has been finalised on the day prior to surgery.  We will then be able to give you an admission time closer to the actual time of your operation.

We try to reduce the time spent waiting at the hospital, however, please remember that this is a surgical procedure and there will be some waiting time involved prior to the operation.

How long will my Day Surgery operation take? 

Most day surgery patients are advised to expect to spend about half a day at the hospital.

Most shoulder procedures involve an overnight stay.

Should I get my radiology referrals from my GP or Dr Cutbush?

It is best to make contact with our office to discuss the appropriate scans required for your appointment.

It is preferred that the referral for the required scans be prepared by our office as Dr Cutbush is very particular regarding how the scans are performed.

When will I go home after having surgery?

Most shoulder operations involve an overnight stay in hospital.  This is because shoulder operations can be painful for the first night after surgery.  If you are in hospital, the nurses can administer strong pain relief if it’s needed, often it isn’t.

Almost all patients having an arthroscopic shoulder procedure are discharged the next day; usually, about 11 am after seeing Dr Cutbush and the Physiotherapist.

Before being discharged from hospital the nursing staff in the ward will change your dressings and collect your postop pain medications from the pharmacy.

Dr Cutbush requires some patients to have an XRay or postop scan before they are discharged and this can on occasion delay your discharge time past 11am.

Patients having shoulder replacement surgery will often spend two nights in hospital following a shoulder replacement.

Is there public transport close by?

Yes, the Brisbane Private Hospital is close to both Central and Roma Street Train Stations. There are also bus stops close by.

Is there parking available at the hospital?

There is a multi-storey carpark on the Brisbane Private Hospital premises accessed from Birley Street which is billed at an hourly rate. There is also street parking around the hospital with multiple council car parking facilities close by. Cellopark is a useful smartphone app that can be used to pay for Brisbane City Council parking. Using the app avoids having to guess how long you will need to pay for parking as it only bills for the time parked.

What do I do if I cannot make my appointment?

Please telephone the office so that your appointment can be rescheduled and your appointment time allocated to another patient who is seeking advice or treatment.

Are my medical records kept private and confidential?

Yes they are. My staff and I are bound by strict confidentiality requirements in regards to your medical records. The contents of your medical records will not be released to other parties without your written consent.
If you have specific issues regarding your medical records please explain this to my office staff and we will make sure that we follow your request.

Can I see Dr Cutbush without a referral?

You can see Dr Cutbush without a doctor’s referral, however, by law you will not be able to claim anything back from medicare or your private health insurer.

Do I need a doctor's referral to see Dr Cutbush if my shoulder problem is covered under workcover?

Yes you do.

Can I get my doctor to backdate a referral after I see Dr Cutbush?

No, you can’t.

By law, Dr Cutbush’s staff need your doctor’s referral before you see Dr Cutbush.

Federal government law regarding doctor’s referrals is very strict.

How can I pay for my consultation?

Full payment is required at the time of your consultation.  You will be issued with a receipt, and if your bank details are registered with Medicare, we can lodge the claim electronically to Medicare on your behalf.  Cash, EFTPOS, credit cards (except American Express) and in some instances personal cheques are acceptable methods of payment.

I don’t have my MRI, X-ray or CT films, I only have a disc, do I need to request a copy of my films?

The report on your scan is not adequate on its own for Dr Cutbush to diagnose and treat your shoulder problem. He needs the scans to do this. He prefers digital copies of your scans so that he can take you through them and explain them to you. Much more information is available from the digital copies of the scans compared to the printed versions. Some radiology clinics provide online access for which we can download your scans. However, not all clinics have this functionality. Please confirm we can download your films before your appointment.

If I am uninsured can I still see Dr Cutbush?

You are more than welcome to see Dr Cutbush for a consultation if you are uninsured. If you require surgery, we can discuss the fee’s involved with having your surgery in a private hospital.

You also have the option of taking out private health insurance and waiting the 12-month waiting time for pre-existing conditions.

Dr Cutbush works in the public hospital system at three teaching hospitals and can refer you to a public hospital. Please note a referral from Dr Cutbush to a public hospital does not speed up your wait time.