What is Zoom?
Zoom is a video-conferencing program which you can download for free onto your computer or as an app on your phone, which allows you to host or attend meetings with other people. There are paid versions too, but the Basic version is free and pretty great. We chose Zoom for our therapy consultations because it has high security and privacy standards, and end-to-end (user-to-user) encryption, which means it is harder to hack.
For more info, go to https://zoom.us/
How do I set up a Zoom account?
- Head to the website: https://zoom.us/
- On the top-right of the page, click on “Sign Up, It’s Free!” and enter your details.
- Verify your profile when you receive a confirmation email
- Bing bang boom and you’re done!
- Also, we recommend setting up your Zoom account well in advance and having a go at testing out your camera and microphone to make sure it all works. You can also test out all the features in Zoom, such as the virtual backgrounds!
How will I access my therapy session via Zoom?
- Your psychologist will set up a “meeting” for your session in Zoom. This meeting will generally be password protected.
- You will receive a Zoom web-link either via SMS or email on the day of your appointment. The password will also be in it.
- At the time of your appointment, click on the link, and this will launch the Zoom program or app. When you’re in, enter the password.
- Your Psychologist will join you there! Make sure your camera and microphone are working!
What will a therapy session via Zoom be like?
We will give you info about telehealth therapy and ask you to consent to receive therapy via Zoom. We have a consent form we will send to you.
We run our telehealth therapy sessions in the same way we run our in-person therapy sessions, so if you’re familiar with your therapist, you’ll find it pretty easy to switch to Zooming with them. If you’re new, we will spend much of the first session getting to know you, we will ask you about what has brought you to therapy, and we encourage you to ask questions too.
We ask that you do the normal things you would do in preparation for a therapy session, such as:
- Make sure you’ve gone to the bathroom beforehand!
- Have a glass of water or a cup of tea close by
- Make sure you’re in a private, quiet space with limited distractions, and don’t move around too much
- Have your phone on silent and out of reach
We will, of course, try to make sure you’re feeling comfortable and will check to make sure the session is working for you.
How will this affect my 10 Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) sessions this year?
If your telehealth Zoom session is bulk billed through Medicare (i.e. there is no out of pocket cost to you), then it counts as 1 of your 10 MHCP sessions for the calendar year.
If you’re paying privately or claiming through private health insurance for your telehealth Zoom session, it doesn’t count towards the 10 MHCP sessions, and you can use those later.
What happens when I need a Mental Health Care Plan review?
At this stage, MHCP reviews need to still be completed with your GP. If you do not have a valid MHCP or review, we will not be able to bulk bill you for the session, and you will have to pay a private fee. (Info correct as at 24/03/2020)
Am I eligible for my session to be bulk billed and have no out of pocket fee?
As of 13/03/2020, the federal government introduced special COVID-19 Medicare item numbers for telehealth. These only apply to some individuals. Please discuss this with your psychologist.
How do I claim a Medicare rebate?
If your session is bulk billed, your psychologist will process this on your behalf, and you won’t have to do a thing.
If you are paying privately, unfortunately, you won’t be eligible for a Medicare rebate at this stage.
What is the specific Telehealth Client Consent form?
It covers the possible benefits and risks of telehealth Zoom sessions and asks you to acknowledge these before starting your session with your psychologist. Your psychologist will provide you with a copy before your session.