Department of Health series of weekly webinars

1) 2 April 2020 – Watch the 2nd webinar here.
Key points:

  • Allied health professionals and telehealth: all allied health professionals in Australia are essential, and people with chronic health conditions rely on allied health professionals for support and care. Telehealth is encouraged where appropriate, but it is essential that face-to-face consultations are available when they are required. For some health professionals it be necessary to hold the first consultation face-to-face and the remainder by telehealth.
  • Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs): some RACFs are concerned about protecting their residents and limiting visits by allied health professionals. Allied health professionals are essential to the care and support of the elderly; they may need to look at delivering some services to RACFs by telehealth. The Government may need to look at Residential Aged Care Facility-only teams, further advice to be provided by the Government.
  • Telehealth IT platforms: the Department noted that many health professional peak bodies have developed or are developing guidance for their members on secure telehealth platforms. The Department is developing guidance and is consulting with the Privacy Commissioner regarding video-conferencing and these will be available in the coming weeks. Some matters for health professional to consider are:
    • Knowing who is in the room with the client and if the client is comfortable with this
    • For any emails or other e-communications with clients, checking that the communication is being sent to the right client before it is sent
  • Mandatory bulk-billing for Medicare-funded telehealth: This requirement is expected to be lifted in a few days when IT system changes have been completed. This will mean allied health professionals can return to their usual billing arrangements. However, the Department urges allied health professionals to ensure their services remain affordable for the many who are not working and having to make tough decisions about spending on healthcare or other essential items.

2) 26 March 2020 – Watch the 2nd webinar available here

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