Infuse Issue 11 May 2020 | Page 33
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In recent weeks, the Australian
Government has announced
changes designed to make sure you
can still access the healthcare you
need during the COVID-19 crisis,
even if you are self-isolating.
What is telehealth?
Telehealth refers to the use of technology to
deliver health services outside of the usual
face-to-face setting. This could be via phone
call or videoconference.
Is it secure and private?
The same privacy requirements that apply to
face-to-face consultations apply to telehealth
consultations. Practitioners have a
responsibility to ensure that their chosen
technology solution, whether it is
videoconferencing or phone, satisfies
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Will I still get the same level of care?
Yes. Telehealth is not appropriate for all
healthcare problems, however this initiative
will allow many people to continue to receive
ongoing care during this time while
maintaining physical distancing. If it is more
appropriate to see you in person, your
dietitian will arrange this - allied health
businesses (including dietitians) are permitted
to remain operating as an essential service.
This is also the case if you don’t have the
technology required to participate in a
telehealth consultation or if you would simply
prefer a face-to-face consultation.
Is it covered by Medicare?
The recent changes mean that more services
and more people are eligible for a Medicare
rebate for telehealth services. Please check
with your dietitian to determine if you are
If you already have a valid referral to a
dietitian from your GP, you do not need to
get a new one to access telehealth services.
If you do not have a chronic condition or
complex needs (i.e. you are not eligible for a
Medicare rebate), you may still access a
dietitian via telehealth, however there will
be a fee.
Can I claim the cost on private health
Many private health funds provide rebates
for dietetic services. The rebate amount and
claim limits will vary from fund to fund, so
contact your fund to check your
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© Dietitian Connection
Infuse | May 2020