Tele-health consultations have been mentioned a lot in the last few weeks. This post is to inform you what that means for your healthcare at GSHealth, and how to book for a tele-health appointment.
Essentially tele-health is the umbrella term given to any form of ‘remote’ medical consultation. Medicare has chosen to define it as a video consultation, and consultations on the phone are telephone consultations, but both achieve a consultation remotely and we at GSHealth use the terms interchangeably.
Predominately consultations will be conducted over the phone. This is because it’s a piece of technology most people already have access to, and know how to use. If you are booking through our hotdoc app, please ensure your telephone number is up to date.
When your doctor feels they need to visually assess you, they may invite you to a video consultation.
If your doctor has asked you to perform a video consultation, it may be through one of two video conferencing services.
Zoom Cloud Meetings is a well known videoconferencing service, and manages video and audio well, and allows for file transfer. Though there have been security concerns with the use of Zoom, we have overcome this by using unique meeting ID’s and passwords for our consultations. If your doctor asks you to join a meeting you will need the application to be open on your mobile device or computer, we will tell you the meeting ID, as well as a have a password.
This will prevent Zoom meeting bombing from occurring.
For those who haven’t installed zoom, or can’t get it working, GPconsults.com.au – is web based, and your doctor enters your mobile number and you will receive a text message. By clicking this message it will open a chat room, and then your doctor can commence a video conversation. You will need to ensure your microphone and camera have permission for use by your browser app (safari or chrome in most instances). This can sometimes be delayed, and people at times do not receive their SMS message.
Billing and medicare
Our existing patients will be aware that GSHealth is a private billing medical practice. We would be unable to provide the services we offer, open for the hours that we do, and employ amazing staff without charging a fee for consultations.
Unfortunately medicare appears to be dragging its feet with reimbursing people who are paying privately for tele-health consultations, but at GS Health will will continue to process the rebate, and follow up if you have not received it. Medicare, the minister for health, the AMA and RACGP have all stated this is being reviewed and should be available as soon as possible.
For our existing patients who hold a Health Care Card, Pensioner Concession Card or are 15 years of age or under, we will bulk bill your tele-health consultation. Bulk Billing does not apply to any face to face consultations, and this will be only available to consults conducted from the 30th of March 2020.