Need to visit the Doctor, but don’t want to leave home? Sonic HealthPlus is now offering telehealth screening consultations, connecting you with a Sonic HealthPlus GP in your home.
- How to Book an Appointment
- How to Connect
Will I receive a bill?
These new items are bulk billed, meaning patients will not have an out of pocket cost for these services. You will need to assign the Medicare benefit you would receive to your treating health professional.
What is meant by ‘assignment of benefit’ and how do I assign to my provider?
When a bulk billed service is being provided, you need to agree that your Medicare rebate being paid directly to your healthcare provider. This is known as ‘assignment of benefit’.
A patient assigns their right to a Medicare benefit by signing a completed assignment of benefit form, which is available here.
For these temporary items only, it is acceptable for your treating health professional to document your agreement to assign your benefit in their clinical notes during the consultation and a form is not required.
Can I be prescribed medication via telehealth?
Yes, the medical practitioner can mail or email a prescription to you or your pharmacist.
Can my treating health professional order me a test? (e.g pathology test)
Yes. There is no difference between a video and face-to-face consultation in terms of ordering pathology and diagnostic imaging tests. In practice, the arrangements for these tests could vary between email, fax, or mail.
Do I have a choice if my practitioner suggests a video consultation?
Yes. If a video consultation is suggested and you do not have the necessary technology, you may request to have the service by telephone. Your health professional may also prefer a face to face consultation.
Where can I have a telehealth consultation?
Patients must be located in Australia, eligible for Medicare and not be an admitted patient to a hospital.
Can I choose who will be in the room with me when I have the video consultation?
Yes. Depending on your isolation requirements, you may have support from a friend or family member. This should be discussed with your treating health professional.
Are there special privacy requirements for video consultations?
The same privacy requirements that apply to face to face consultations will apply to video consultation/telephone consultations. Patients should discuss any concerns with their treating health professional.
What if I am asked to pay a co-payment or a fee to the healthcare provider in addition to being bulk billed?
If a service is bulk billed, the healthcare provider accepts the Medicare rebate as full payment; you cannot be charged any other costs such as booking, administration or record keeping fees.
What if the video/phone connection drops out? Do I need to make another appointment?
No, it is the same service; once you have reconnected, you should continue the consultation as normal.
Can I attend more than one consultation in a single day and still be bulk billed?
Yes. You can attend multiple consultations on the same day and by the same medical practitioner, provided the subsequent attendances are not a continuation of the initial or earlier attendances.
I am not sure I have received a quality service via telehealth. What can I do about this?
If you have not received a satisfactory health service, you can:
- View information online on the medical board of Australia website about making a complaint: www.medicalboard.gov.au, or
- Submit a health provider tip off on the Department of health website: www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/health-provider-tip-off
Where can I find more information?
COVID-19 National Health Plan resources for the public, health professionals and industry are available from the Australian Government Department of Health website.
Receiving a Telehealth Booking
You will receive your video bookings in 2 ways:
The Email and SMS will both contain a link that looks like the example below:
An appointment for your online assessment has been scheduled for: 25/03/2022 2:05:00 PM with Dr. Jennifer Sisson.
Your Telehealth appointment will take place in the following online clinic room: Click Here!