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Dealing with the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

New Directions Psychology continues to provide psychological services during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are currently open for face-to-face clients and TELEHEALTH services to our clients as per government guidelines. 

Following current public health guidelines please do not attend if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or are unwell, have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting test results or live with a person awaiting test results, are a confirmed case and or have been in contact with a confirmed case and/or are self-isolating or in quarantine or have travelled internationally or to an identified hot spot recently. 

 

Please refer to the Department of Health website to stay up-to-date with Government advice.

There will be no cancellation fee for such non-attendance. Please contact the clinic 3376 1977 to discuss possible alternate options for continuity of therapy.  

Psychological Services via the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items and other Third Party Referrals

On 11th March 2020, the Federal Government announced a $2.4 Billion health plan to fight COVID-19 to protect all Australians from the coronavirus (COVID-19). This initial plan included introducing specific Medicare items to be used to access health support. These Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items can now be claimed. 

The items include videoconference or via phone  consultations and services, which can be provided by psychologists, GPs, specialists, consultant physicians, consultant psychiatrists, nurse practitioners and other allied mental health workers for the whole population and will be bulk billed for those that meet current eligibility criteria.

In addition, allied health providers who are in self-isolation for possible COVID-19 infection will also be able to continue to provide mental health services to patients during the period of their isolation. Thus, ensuring continuity of care for their existing and for newly referred clients.

In addition, clients under DVA (with pre-approval), and WORKCOVER referrals and attending under NDIS funding arrangements are also able to continue with and access psychological therapy via videoconference or telephone consult.

Please contact the clinic on 3376 1977 or via email if you require further information for accessing ongoing and new psychological services under these referrals and/or as a private paying client.

Medicare reforms and doubled sessions

The Federal Government as part of the recent Budget, announced $17.3 million of funding over two years (2020-21) to continue the implementation of recommendations from the MBS Review Taskforce to ensure patient safety and high-quality care.

$100.8 million of funding has been allocated towards increasing access to Better Access sessions from 10 to 20 per year, nationally, for the next two years. 

The additional services will be available nationally from Friday 9 October 2020. See below link for further information:

http://www.mbsonline.gov.au/internet/mbsonline/publishing.nsf/Content/240DC3AF97EEAF79CA2585BC00827909/$File/Factsheet-Practitioners-Mental-Health-Services-COVID-19.pdf

Please contact the clinic on 3376 1977 or via email if you require further information.

 

Future Direction

2020 certainly brought multiple challenges, not least of which was the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with the Australian and QLD governments’ proactive workplace health and safety guidelines and enhanced provision of MEDICARE TELEHEALTH support options, New Directions Psychology implemented COVID-19 Workplace Safe Plans and rolled out comprehensive TELEHEALTH delivery processes.  As for all workplaces, these COVID-19 enforced protocols have led to significant changes in the delivery of services, not least of which in the allied health industry.

 

To ensure compliance requirements continue to be met and in the context of our increased capacity to deliver services remotely when required, we have decided to close the Ipswich clinic. As of June 2021, we will no longer be providing face-to-face sessions from Ipswich.

 

However, all clinicians who have been practising out of our Ipswich clinic will be relocating to our Jindalee clinic and we will continue to be available to provide the same psychological services to all our Ipswich clients from this site. Further, if attending onsite at Jindalee is not viable, we are able to provide therapy via TELEHEALTH as per current MEDICARE guidelines.

 

Our Jindalee clinic has ample free parking, public transport options and is easily accessed off the Centenary Highway, a short 20minute drive from the centre of Ipswich.