What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is the generic term for health services provided by video conference. Due to the social distancing policies resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, psychological services can currently be provided in person in West Hobart, or via telephone or videoconferencing.
Michaela is responsible for the cost of the call to you and the cost associated with the platform used to conduct telehealth services ('Coviu'). In order to access telehealth consultations you will need access to a quiet, private space, preferably with a door. You will also need an appropriate device, i.e. smartphone, laptop, iPad, computer, with a camera, microphone and speakers; and a reliable broadband internet connection.
The privacy of any internet communication is potentially vulnerable and limited by the security of the technology used. To protect the security of your personal information Michaela uses Coviu which is compliant with the Australian standards for online security and encryption. You will be responsible for managing the privacy of the location in which you take the call.
Entitlement and Cancellation
Anyone who is eligible for a Medicare Rebate can claim that rebate for a telehealth session in the same way as a face-to-face session. The value of the rebate and the number of available sessions is the same. Many third party organisations have also approved telehealth as a suitable alternative including Open Arms and DPFEM. If you are currently being funded through Workers Compensation or Private Health Funds you will need to check with your individual provider regarding approval for funding telehealth.
The cost of a consultation (approximately 60 minutes) is the same is for face-to-face appointments (see Fee page under FAQ), which is payable at the end of the session via internet banking or digital transfer unless you have been approved for a Bulk Bill Fee and have a MHCP. Michaela can submit a Medicare rebate for you online, email an invoice to a third party provider, or provide a receipt for you to use for claiming from your private health fund.
If you need to cancel or postpone your appointment, please give Michaela at least 48 hours notice, otherwise you will be charged a cancellation fee (see Fee page under FAQ).
An additional consent form is required to access telehealth services and authorise Medicare rebate processing. Michaela will email you the consent form prior to your first online session or it can also be downloaded below:
How to prepare?
The most important part of preparing for a telehealth session is that you find somewhere comfortable and private to take the call. Just like in a face-to-face session you need to feel comfortable enough to express your thoughts and feelings without being concerned about being witnessed or overheard by others:
Ideally you will be in a room away from others with the door closed, without distraction or disturbance. Try to make sure you won't be interrupted by kids or pets, turn off televisions and other devices, and mute or turn off your phone.
Consider what you may need to have in reach - water or tea, tissues, cushions, notebook etc. Be comfortable but preferably seated rather than lying down, and wearing the same type of clothing you would wear to attend a face-to-face appointment rather than pajamas.
You may want to consider headphones (or the earpiece that often comes with your phone) to prevent echoes or distorted sounds, they may also help you to focus by reducing distractions and making at least part of the conversation more private.
At the time of the appointment click on the link provided by email the day before, you may need to add a photo, and acknowledge a brief consent message. You will then enter a virtual waiting room until Michaela welcomes you into the appointment. Please keep in mind there may be a short delay before the session is able to start but don't wander off as you may miss the cue that Michaela is ready.
A telehealth consultation may be subject to limitations such as an unstable network connection which may affect the quality of the psychology session. In addition, there may be some services for which telehealth is not appropriate or effective. Michaela will consider and discuss with you the appropriateness of ongoing telehealth sessions.
If you have any difficulty connecting to the video conferencing then message Michaela on 0406633991. The most common issues are your browser is not up to date or you need to okay the use of your camera. If the problem can't be resolved quickly we will change to a telephone only call, or FaceTime video call (if you have an iPhone/iPad ).
However, you may also like to check out the link below for the most common problems: https://help.coviu.com/en/collections/2237481-troubleshooting-coviu