CHANGES TO OUR TELEHEALTH BILLING PROCEDURE – as at 1st OCTOBER 2020.
The Government are withdrawing the Telehealth COVID-19 Bulk Billing Incentive from General Practice as at 1st October 2020.
What does this mean for our Patients?
To ensure we can continue to provide good quality health services our Doctors may privately bill your telehealth appointment from 1st October 2020.
At the conclusion of your consultation you will be contacted by our reception staff who will take your payment over the phone.
If your bank details are recorded with Medicare you will receive your refund into your account. If your details are not recorded with Medicare our staff will forward you a receipt to enable you to claim your refund.
Please contact our reception staff for information on our Telehealth fees.
Grosvenor & Collins Street Practice
We are still operating from both locations with a lot of physical changes to the internal rooms. If you attend either practice, you will find the front door is locked, this is for the health and safety of all patients, staff and doctors to allow clinical staff and receptionist to screen all patients before entering the practice.
The waiting rooms at both practices have a small number of chairs spaced out at 1.5m to comply with social distancing.
Our main reception area is fitted with a Perspex screen to protect our patients and staff. This is to comply with social distancing and infection control.
The floors are marked with tape to ensure a 1.5m barrier between yourself and the receptionist, nurse or doctor to comply with social distancing.
Our consultation rooms have been stripped back to contain only a bare minimum of supplies to assist in infection control.
Our doctors are no longer printing documents where possible, but electronically signing and faxing or emailing to yourself, pharmacy, specialist etc. This is to comply with infection control.
Please understand that this pandemic is very different to anything we have experienced before within our workplace and we are evolving new processes every day to make things flow smoothly. Please read on for our current processes.
Phone and Video Consultations
Both Grosvenor and Collins Street Practice have moved to phone and video consultations where possible. Please phone the practice to book an appointment time for the doctor to contact you, alternatively, you can book phone consultations online. Please ensure your contact details are up to date.
Due to new regulations, Telehealth and Videohealth consultations CAN NOT be claimed by patients who have not been seen at the practice within the past 12 months. If you attempt to book online, your appointment may be rejected if your last consultation was greater than twelve months ago.
New patients wishing to book an appointment will need to book an initial face to face consultation. If you have flu like symptoms, we will offer you an appointment in our respiratory clinic and potentially follow up with a Telehealth or Videohealth consultation.
Phone and video consultations are subsidised by Medicare for patients who are at risk of COVID-19:
- required to self-isolate or self-quarantine in accordance with guidance issued by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee in relation to COVID-19
- at least 70 years old
- if the person identifies as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent—is at least 50 years old
- the parent of a child aged under 12 months
- being treated for a chronic health condition
- immune compromised
- meets the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection
For all other patients, there may be an out of pocket fee. Please discuss the eligible criteria with your General Practitioner as the reception staff are not privy to your health conditions.
Face to Face Consultations
As we move through the Pandemic, we are able to see more face to face consultations as we understand that not all consultations can be resolved either over the phone or during video consultation. Our procedure for booking face to face consultations is as follows:
- Reception will book you an appointment with your doctor or the next doctor available for face to face appointments. Please be aware that your doctor may only be taking phone consultations at this time.
- If you have been allocated a face to face appointment we ask you to notify the staff of ANY respiratory illness on the day of your appointment:
- Fever >38 degrees
- Cold/runny nose
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- They will also ask you of any recent travel or contact with anyone who has travelled to the North West coast of Tasmania, mainland Australia or international travel. We ask that you answer honestly to the questions you are asked as we are protecting the health of all patients, staff and our doctors at this time.
- The front door of the practice will be locked to allow staff and nurses to ask the above questions on your arrival before entering the practice, please phone the receptionist from your car to advise them of your arrival.
- Once we have assessed your risk, your temperature will be taken and you will be asked to use hand sanitiser provided and to take a seat in the waiting room.
- We are still required to keep our waiting room to a maximum of 5 people at once. As we are seeing more face to face patients, we may ask that you wait in your car until there is a seat available. We ask, where possible, that you do not arrive too early to your appointment.
What happens if you fall ill with a respiratory illness during the COVID19 pandemic? Unfortunately, you may develop the symptoms similar to COVID19 and during our screening process when booking an appointment you will find that we will not be able to book a face to face contact with your doctor.
The reception staff will offer you a phone or video consultation with your doctor who will then determine whether or not you need any form of testing. If you do require testing, you will be booked into our Respiratory clinic at Grosvenor Street currently running on Monday to Thursday afternoons.
The reception staff will ask you to arrive at the practice and park in the car park located behind the building at your allocated time and phone reception on your arrival. The treating doctor will see you in the room downstairs which is set up for the treatment of respiratory illness.
Payment for Consultation
If payment is required for your appointment the doctor will inform you. We are able to take payment over the phone and process Medicare rebates online.
If your doctor is calling you from within the practice, you will be transferred to the receptionist after your appointment to process payment.
If your doctor is calling you from their office at home, they will ask the receptionist to call you within 24hours of your appointment for payment over the phone.
If you would like a copy of the receipt we would prefer to email it to you, please update your email address with reception staff.
Vaccinations and Flu Vaccines
Due to social distancing regulations, we have developed a method to limit the amount of time spent in the practice for routine immunisations and flu vaccine clinics.
When you arrive at the practice at your allocated appointment time, please phone the receptionist to let them know of your arrival. They will check you in and the doctor will call your back as soon as they can to conduct the consultation over the phone which will include asking your to answer honestly to all screening questions regarding COVID19. The doctor or nurse will meet you at the door after your phone consultation and take you straight into the treatment room or doctors consultation room to administer the vaccine.
If payment is required please see the receptionist prior to leaving.
Requests to your doctor
At the time, please understand there is an increase in phone calls and requests to the practice. To eliminate pressure on Staff and Doctors, your request for a prescription or referral may be directed to a phone consultation. By booking a phone consultation with a doctor at the practice we can ensure your request is met on the day of your appointment and the requested document is sent to yourself, pharmacy, specialist etc as soon as it is possible for staff. Unfortunately it may occasionally be an hour or two delay between your consultation and documents arriving, please inform your doctor if you require something urgently.
During this time, we urge you all to not neglect your health concerns. We understand you may be apprehensive to attend a medical centre during this pandemic but please be assured we are taking all appropriate steps to keep our practice environment COVID19 free!
Heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, cancers etc do not take a holiday because of the circulating Coronavirus, if you are experiencing anything unusual or notice any health changes, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Please visit this page frequently to check for any other changes that we may implement along the way.
Stay safe, we look forward to seeing you all again soon!
Doctors and Staff
Grosvenor & Collins Street General Practice