This page contains information on my Practice that may be of interest and benefit to Practice Managers, Doctors and Practice staff.
I have spent many years practicing as a Consultant Psychiatrist in regional and remote areas and understand how difficult it is for Doctors and patients to gain easy access and advice from specialists.
I have recently made a decision to spend less time on the road (and therefore more time with my patients and my family) and am now offering Telehealth (Telepsychiatry) appointments. Psychiatry is well suited to Telehealth and I have found that with the appropriate technology (all reasonably accessible and affordable) I am able to interact with patients almost as if I was in the room with them.
Eligibility for a Telehealth service is dependant on the residential location of the patient – with some exceptions. More information on eligibility can be found on the Information for Patients page of my website.
I currently consult with patients:
- Via Skype or other videoconferencing program link (e.g. LifeSize Softphone) direct to GP Practice or Health Centre with GP/Practice Nurse/Aboriginal Caseworker attending for all or part of the session.
- Via direct Skype link to the patients home computer (requires that patient has required bandwidth and can operate required programs/technology).
- There is also an option to arrange and book with me a Medicare item number 348 whereby a GP and specialist can discuss patient diagnosis/needs without the patient present.
You may have received information on the Federal Government initiatives, financial incentives and billing details around Telehealth but if not, a good overview can be found in the following links.
- Royal Australian College of General Practitioners – Telehealth
- Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine – Telehealth
- Medicare Australia – Telehealth for health professionals
If you refer patients to me to be seen via Telehealth I will provide a full psychiatric consultation for your patient and an immediate (same day) management plan, (including diagnosis/medication and future needs) to you at the end of the consultation. GPs, as well as other health/case workers are welcome to attend and participate in the consultation. This ‘shared-care’ model is one that I have practiced for some time now and I am pleased that the Telehealth system allows for it to be formalised and acknowledged.
The feedback from patients has been positive, with many realising the benefits of the involvement of their GP and many pleased to be seen by a Psychiatrist within a reduced waiting time and with minimal travel.
I operate a Bulk Billing Practice and there is no out of pocket costs for patients to participate in a Telehealth consultation. I do not charge any booking fees either.
We are using a Tasmanian owned and developed booking/billing system gp2u and I would highly recommend the system, especially if your practice will be doing regular Telehealth sessions. If not, Telehealth bookings may be able to be organised within your usual practice management software. My office will work with your administration staff in order to book mutually convenient appointment times and can assist with notifying and reminding patients.
All billing for my services is done from my office.
I encourage you to consider using Telehealth as a way of allowing easy access to specialist Psychiatric treatment for your patients.
Please contact my office if you would like more information or some advice on set-up and procedures or you would like to refer a patient. Contact details are on the Contact Us page of this website.