Covid-19 and Telehealth FAQs

Our staff at The Woodside Centre wants to express how much we care for you and your wellbeing during this unprecedented time.

The clinicians at The Woodside Centre will continue to provide therapeutic support to our community until Covid-19 is resolved.

In light of recent Covid-19 developments, we hope to provide enhanced support for both your physical and mental wellbeing during your appointments with your Psychologist.

To do this, we are actively taking steps to create greater accessibility for your appointments via Telehealth. We have done this in line with the advice and guidance of the Australian Government and Australian Psychological Society.

At this time, we are able to offer eligible individuals who are self-isolating under medical guidance to attend their Psychological appointments through an online platform such as Skype, Facetime, Zoom or doxy.me. With a specific referral from your GP this service is fully Bulk Billed.

We will also consider requests for Telehealth for other individuals and high school students on a case-by-case basis for those conscious of social distancing, but not currently self-isolating under medical guidance. Without a referral update, normal fees will apply. Unfortunately, this is not currently an option for primary school children.

For clients who are self-isolating under medical guidance:

Medicare items (these are specific numbers given to referrals to access support from a Psychologist) have been created especially for COVID-19 telehealth services. Please call your GP to discuss your eligibility, or read the following information provided by the Australian Psychological Society.

New COVID-19 Medicare items, available from 13 March 2020, allow vulnerable and isolated clients to access bulk-billed psychological services delivered via telehealth (i.e., videoconferencing over Skype, Facetime or Zoom).

These items form part of the 10 services allowed per year under the Better Access to mental health care initiative and allow clients who meet the Government’s COVID-19 eligibility criteria to receive services via telehealth and phone. The eligibility criteria is outlined below.

Eligibility:

Vulnerable and isolated clients are eligible to receive telehealth services provided by a psychologist if:

  1. the person has been diagnosed with COVID-19 virus but who is not a patient of a hospital; or
  2. the person has been required to isolate themselves in quarantine in accordance with home isolation guidance issued by Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC); or
  3. the person is considered more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus being a person who is:
    • at least 70 years old; or
    • at least 50 years old and is of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent; or
    • is pregnant; or
    • is a parent of a child under 12 months; or
    • is already under treatment for chronic health conditions or is immune compromised; or
    • the person meets the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection.

4. the person is referred by:

    • a medical practitioner, either as part of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan, or as part of a shared care plan or as part of a psychiatrist assessment and management plan; or
    • a specialist or consultant physician specialising in the practice of his or her field of psychiatry; or
    • a specialist or consultant physician specialising in the practice of his or her field of paediatrics; and

5. the service is provided to the person individually; and

    • at the completion of a course of treatment, the referring medical practitioner reviews the need for a further course of treatment; and

6. the service is bulk-billed.

If you think you may be eligible, please call your GP to confirm and request that your referral is faxed to The Woodside Centre with your new Medicare items. Your GP clinic can call our clinic to confirm the item numbers if they have not yet been advised of this development.

For everyone else, we will endeavour to keep you informed if there are any changes to the clinic’s circumstances. If a practitioner is required to isolate, they will still be accessible via Telehealth.

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