Love in the Time of COVID-19
Telehealth MBS Items extended | March 14, 2021
Today, the Government announced the extension of telehealth until 30 June 2021. Telehealth allows clients to access mental health care from the safety of their own homes and limit risk of coronavirus infection and transfer within our community. The government reported that over 82,000 providers have been using telehealth to support clients throughout the pandemic.
Permanent telehealth discussions are still ongoing and we will continue to monitor the situation as we get closer to June and advocate that telehealth access will be extended indefinitely.
Restrictions in Place for Greater Brisbane | January 11, 2021
Following the 3 Day Lockdown for Greater Brisbane, we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and advice and requirements from QLD Health.
Our COVID-safe measures including offering online appointments, social distancing and disinfection remain in place and there is also a new requirement to wear a face mask for in-person therapy sessions when social distancing is not possible. These measures remain in place until 1am on 22nd January.
For appointments in this period, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns or would like to change to an Online appointment. If you are attending your appointment in-person at Benjamin Close, please remember to wear your face mask and utilize the hand sanitizer on arrival. Outdoor sessions may also be available, weather depending.
We will continue to monitor the government advice and requirements and will keep you updated as the situation progresses.
Clinic Room open again as Queensland eases Social Distancing Rules | May 4, 2020
Queensland is easing social distancing restrictions and I’m opening my rooms again from Tuesday 5th May. Online appointments will continue to be available for all clients and Medicare will be rebating MHCP appointments until 30th September 2020.
When booking please advise if you would like an in-person appointment or an online appointment.
Medicare Bulk Billing Relaxed and Evening Appointments Now Available | April 6, 2020
Bulk Billing Relaxed
As of Monday 6th April, Medicare has relaxed the requirement for all psychologists to bulk bill all Telehealth sessions under a Mental Health Care Plan. This means that if you do not meet the criteria below or are not in financial distress and still have a job, I will be asking for my usual fee. If you are feeling financial distress due to COVID19, job losses or job uncertainty, then I will of course continue sessions with no gap fee. Please let me know at the time of consultation.
Criteria for bulk billing:
A person will meet the definition of a “at risk of COVID-19 virus” if they:
(a) are required to self-isolate or self-quarantine in accordance with guidance issued by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee in relation to COVID-19; or
(b) are at least 70 years old; or
(c) identify as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent—and are at least 50 years old; or
(d) are pregnant; or
(e) are the parent of a child aged under 12 months; or
(f) are being treated for a chronic health condition; or
(g) are immune compromised; or
(h) meet the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection
Please let me know at the time of consultation if you now meet these criteria.
Evening Appointments Now Available
Many parents are finding it difficult to attend sessions during the day due to children being home. I have made evening appointments available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings so you can attend appointments once the children are in bed or your partner is available for childcare. If this impacts you please email me to request an evening appointment.
Couples are finding evening sessions a good option to work on their relationship. Once the kids are in bed they can get together on the couch and Zoom in to a session.
Updated practices during COVID-19 | March 31, 2020
This letter is to advise you that during the COVID-19 outbreak all psychological support sessions are now online or via the phone.
I am using Zoom, a secure online video service or phone. I am experienced in providing telehealth services to clients all over the world, most recently working with ‘Making Relationships Work’ and Natural Fertility Breakthrough providing video sessions to clients from all over Australia, Europe, Asia, the US & Canada.
MHCP no gap fee
From Monday 30th March 2020, Telehealth sessions are available for all Australians with a MHCP. These sessions are to be bulk billed. I will continue to advise you of changes and updates as the situation progresses but please feel free to contact me on [Phone Number] if you have any questions.
Keeping Connections | March 23, 2020
Dear Clients As the situation with COVID19 is changing on a daily basis we understand the difficulties many people are facing. We are updating our operations as required to maximise support for you whilst maintaining precautions.
Here are the keys points today:
– To assist in social distancing all our appointments are now online or via the phone. You will receive an invitation to a Zoom meeting for your appointment. Zoom is a secure platform with a range of features that assist in making sessions useful. All you need to do is click on the link. If you would prefer another platform (Skype, phone) please let me know.
– I suggest you attend your session in a quiet, safe room, possibly with a cuppa and a notebook and pen.
– Fees will remain the same. If you are in a high-risk group (under a MHCP) Medicare has removed the gap for you so there will be no out of pocket fee.
– I’m experienced in offering Telehealth sessions and work with clients all around the world. Please contact me if you have any queries about online sessions.
Updates | March 16, 2020
This letter is to advise you that like everyone else we are trying to remain calm whilst also being thoughtful and proactive in our response to the facts and the fears about Coronavirus. We will be increasing our cleaning at the clinic, in particular disinfecting handles, desk, devices and other regularly used surfaces after each session. We have added a 15 minute buffer between sessions to reduce contact with others and we ask you to use the hand sanitiser on arrival at sessions. We have an outdoor seating area set up for sessions should you like to avoid the clinic room and Telehealth sessions are available. I regularly work online with clients all over the world.
Vulnerable or Isolated Clients
For Vulnerable/Isolated clients on a MHCP, Telehealth sessions are available with no gap fee. The criteria requires at least one of the following apply:
(a) the person has been diagnosed with COVID-19 virus but who is not a patient of a hospital; or
(b) 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
(c) the person is considered more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus being a person who is: (i) at least 70 years old; or (ii) at least 50 years old and is of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent; or (iii) is pregnant; or (iv) is a parent of a child under 12 months; or (v) is already under treatment for chronic health conditions or is immune compromised; or
(d) the person meets the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection.
Please contact us to check if you are eligible and would like to book a Telehealth session. We ask that you also, please take care to ensure you are physically well when you attend your psychology appointments.
What You Can Do
In accordance with the current public health recommendations, we will, and we ask that you also please plan ahead and reschedule your appointment if:
– You, or someone you might have been in contact with, have returned from any overseas travel in the last 14 days.
– You have been, or think you might have been in contact with someone who has tested positive to the Coronavirus.
– You are simply experiencing any mild or severe cough, cold, or flu-like symptoms.
If you are not sure whether or not you should come in, please err on the side of caution and reschedule your appointment – and please give us a couple of days’ notice. If you have any concerns about having to pay late cancellation fees as a result of cancelling your appointment with little notice – please speak with us about it.
In most cases cancellation fees can be waived. We will do our best to stay well – and to help you keep well when you come in to see us.
If you have any questions or concerns please email me at Kristina@kristinachallands.com.au or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Line
Call this line if you are seeking information on coronavirus (COVID-19). The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 1800 020 080
Kristina Challands Psychologist
Get in Touch
Call 0487 480 120
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