Medicare and Telehealth

Some patients are eligible telehealth services to be bulkbilled (payment direct to the practice from Medicare), but unfortunately some are not. These conditions are determined by the Government, not our practice.

 

You must be a regular patient of the practice and have attended in the last 12 months to be eligible.

 

The Government has offered bulkbilled telehealth as a short-term option to be used on the following groups of people:

 

GROUP 1 - PEOPLE IN ISOLATION

 

Patients with any respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, muscle aches) AND have returned from overseas travel in the last 14 days

 

OR

 

Had contact with someone diagnosed with Coronavirus

 

AND

 

Those who are in self-quarantine after returning from overseas for 14 days (well or unwell patients)

 

GROUP 2- VULNERABLE PATIENTS

 

  • All patients aged 70 and over

  • ATSI patients aged 50 and over

  • Pregnant women

  • Parents with a baby under 12 months of age (them, not the baby)

  • Cardiovascular disease including hypertension

  • Asthma

  • Smoking damage or COPD

  • Diabetes

  • Cancer

  • Liver disease

  • Kidney disease

  • Immunocompromised

 

We realise there will be people with respiratory symptoms and fever that will NOT be eligible. We will offer telehealth and telephone consults for a fee to be paid by credit card over the phone, prior to the consult.

 

This service will be $40 dollars with your regular doctor.

 

We are ENCOURAGING all patients who fit the “Vulnerable Patients” criteria to start booking teleheath appointments for routine health checks, referrals, prescriptions and review of current medical issues. If someone has multiple issues to deal with, there may be multiple telehealth consults needed.

 

Complex health assessments, chronic disease care plans and mental health care plans CANNOT be performed via telehealth. This is direction put in place by the Government, not our own practice. We are set up to continue these items for well patients, but do not want vulnerable patients at the practice for these items at this current time.

 

We understand the annual influenzae vaccination will require patients to be physically present in the practice. At this stage, the vaccination has not been delivered by the Government but we will announce information regarding this and how we plan to administer the vaccination as safely as possible as soon as we know more.

 

We want to keep all staff, patients and our community safe during this time. This is a high priority for us and as such the practice will be following “social distancing” guidelines set out by the Government. These guidelines include:

 

  • Stop handshaking as a greeting

  • Promote good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene

  • Stay at least 1.5 metres away from other people

 

We will be minimising non urgent or unnecessary health issues attending the practice. We want to use telehealth as much as possible to ensure our patients stay on top of their medical needs during this unpredictable time. Patients should not neglect their health issues due to fear of Coronavirus. We are available for our patients and are open and ready for business – even if that is via telehealth!

 

Unfortunately, we will not be accepting new patients until further notice. Being a smaller practice with limited resources we have decided to focus on treating our existing patients, delivering the highest level of care possible.