Practice Updates – COVID-19
March 24, 2020
Barrenjoey Psychology remains open
Currently, Barrenjoey Psychology in Warriewood is an essential service and is open for business as usual and want to assure our clients that our psychologists and client support team are doing what they can to assure a safe space for those attending for psychological care.
We are ensuring we maintain social distancing in the waiting room and consulting rooms, sanitiser is supplied and the premises are regularly disinfected. We will also be removing non essential items such as cushions, blankets and magazines from the practice until the spread of COVID-19 is contained. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
To ensure the safety of all our clients and psychologists we do ask for you to stay at home when you are sick, whether you have COVID-19 or another virus or infection. To minimize the risk of unknown cases spreading throughout the community we are encouraging our clients to take heightened precautions to limit the spread of any virus by opting to not attend if they have begun to experience cold or flu-like symptoms.
If you are unwell and/or concerned about exposure to COVID-19, we encourage you to call the COVID-19 national hotline (1800 020 080). This hotline will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also call your GP practice if you would prefer. If you are unwell and wish to cancel or reschedule your appointment, we ask that where possible you provide us with 24 hours notice of the cancellation, otherwise, our cancellation policy allows you to be exempt from cancellation fees if a medical certificate is provided. As demand for our services has increased this act of kindness can provide another appointment time for somebody else in need.
Telehealth sessions are available
We also want to inform you of the availability of Telehealth sessions if you are unable to attend the practice in person. Barrenjoey Psychology is committed to continuing to shine the beacon of ongoing psychological care and support for all who need it during the COVID-19 outbreak. Our psychologists are all now trained in the use of video conferencing that is safe and secure for both our clients and our psychologists and is acceptable to the Psychology Board of Australia guidelines.
All of our psychologists have access to video conferencing and can provide you with safe and secure online consultations. At Barrenjoey we have been working hard to ensure it is a seamless and easy shift to video conferencing if this is what works for you. We want to ensure all of our existing clients are able to continue with treatment and we can still guide you on your journey to wellness.
A Telehealth session is a consultation with your psychologist held via video-conferencing (Zoom) or over the phone. Our Telehealth sessions are conducted much the same as a regular in-person sessions and are 50-60 minutes. If you choose to book an online zoom consultation we will email you some instructions on how to access the video session with your psychologist before the session.
Book your Telehealth sessions online
Telehealth sessions can be booked on the website under book online please include in your booking note that this is a booking for telephone or video conferencing.
Medicare bulk billed telehealth sessions
If you are isolating yourself at home on the advice of a medical practitioner, or meet the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection you will qualify for a bulk-billed session with your psychologist, provided you have an already existing Mental Health Treatment Plan prepared by your GP or specialist. The new Medicare Telehealth items for COVID-19 have been released recently and are now available for eligible clients. They are those for whom at least one of the following applies:
The person has been diagnosed with COVID-19 virus but who is not a patient in a hospital
The person has been requested to isolate themselves in quarantine in accordance with home isolation guidance issued by Australia Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC)
If 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.
Please note: these Medicare telehealth items are not available to those choosing to self-isolate, you must be on medically advised isolation to claim these rebates.
Please see this fact sheet from the Department of Health for more information and eligibility for Medicare funded Telehealth services.
For clients who do not meet the criteria above, but are unable to come into the practice, we do offer telehealth sessions. These are charged as a private session, but we have significantly reduced our fees to make these sessions more accessible for everyone. We are able to provide telephone or video conferencing to all our SNPHN Access Plus patients and EAP clients under these programs. All private health funds will accept telehealth sessions provided the patients GP recommends this service. It is recommended you contact your own health fund for more information on COVID-19 rebates to see a psychologist.
We are expecting an announcement regarding an expanding of the eligibility for telehealth services on Monday 30th March and will update this page as new information becomes available.
The majority of Australian health funds have agreed to provide coverage for teleconsultations provided by psychologists from Monday 30th March, during the COVID-19 outbreak. It is recommended you contact your own health fund for more information on COVID-19 rebates to see a psychologist.
We understand this is a very challenging time and please feel free to phone Barrenjoey Psychology for further information on 9979 3317
This is a time for us to unite – it’s time to spread kindness.
Kindness to all will make our lives easier and more meaningful.