Medicare, Telehealth & Covid: All you need to know about Dietitian Appointments

With the ever changing climate surrounding COVID-19, we have all been encouraged to get a little creative in regards to how we connect! This includes how we access health care and continue to receive support from Medical and Health Care Professionals. To assist with this the Australian Government has expanded Medicare subsidies for Telehealth services to all Australians.

 

What this means is that all Telehealth appointments (over phone or in video call) will be bulk-billed (no cost to you!) when you see a Dietitian (or other allied health professional). To be eligible, you will require access to a Medicare referral pathway, such as an Enhanced Primary Care Plan, Chronic Disease Management Plan or Eating Disorder Management Plan.

 

Have a Medicare Referral Already? Great!

 

If you already have one of these plans, you can continue to be supported by your respective Dietitian online.

 

Seeking a Medicare Referral to a Dietitian?

 

Good news! GP’s are also bulk billing all telehealth appointments, so you will have quick and easy access if you need a new Dietitian referral.

 

So what does a Telehealth session look like at Glow Group?

 

We are lucky to already offer virtual consults, so we are set up with the equipment we need to support you. We use ZOOM as our preferred platform for video calls as it’s user friendly and easy to follow for those who are a little less tech savvy (like me!).

 

So, to step you through:

 

You can book an appointment with us by phone or email, or book directly online http://glowgroup.co/dev/bookings/ . We are actually expanding bookings to accommodate client preferences as we speak.

 

We will email you before your appointment to set you up with a ZOOM meeting link. Below is a snip of what that might look like

 

 

 

 

 

To attend the meeting, you will just need to click on the link and follow the prompts. If you have any troubles, here’s a video https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting- on how you can troubleshoot.

 

Once online you can begin your session as normal with your Dietitian.

 

When the appointment is complete, you will not need to make any payments at your end. We can process this for you using your relevant Medicare item codes

 

A few additional benefits:

 

You can speak with us in the comfort of your own home.

 

You don’t need to worry about travelling to the appointment.

 

It allows for some creativity with delivering support, which we are really enjoying as Dietitians!

 

And it keeps you connected with your trusted health care professional in uncertain times.

 

We look forward to connecting soon!

How Self-Care Might Look At The Moment

It’s safe to say we are experiencing surreal feelings at the moment as we continue to work together to find a new normal.

During this time you might be noticing changes to your thoughts and emotions which is expected and completely valid.

Our instincts might be to look out for those around us, especially those most vulnerable. Which while that is so important, in the long-term it will become difficult to do so without taking time to support yourself as well.

This is why I feel the need to bring up self-care.  Below is a list of ideas for self-care and what it could look like during these times:

 

 

  • Allow yourself to be human and acknowledge your changing capacity to handle situations day by day.
  • Allow yourself to acknowledge your needs and boundaries for how much you can tolerate. This may continue to change.
  • Remind yourself that it is OK to not want to engage in social media. One way to get a feel for that is when using social media, invite yourself to increase awareness about what it is providing for you.
  • Encourage self-compassion and kindness towards yourself as we go through a time of change. It is OK not to be OK.
  • Keep a note of support networks you have access to in such a time. If you are concerned about reaching out to others, one helpful tip can be the ask permission to speak to them first. “I am struggling at the moment, do you have capacity for me to talk to you about what’s going on at the moment?”
  • Allow time for yourself to stay nourished. It is expected that the food we have access to is likely to change and that is OK. It is still important to keep your body and brain fuelled to continue your day.
  • Allow time to honour your body with movement however you can.
  • If you feel you can, think about taking time to slow your thoughts and re-connect with yourself. This can be done with mindfulness, meditation, going for a walk and even yoga if that’s your thing.
  • If appropriate, taking opportunities to find humour in situations can help take the edge off. After all we are all in this together.

 

 

There is no right or wrong way. These are thoughts that I’ve had shared with me by my clients and colleagues and I’d like to share them with you as options for self-care.

I invite you to think how they might resonate with you and also how you would like to make some additions to this list to suit your needs.

Things to Keep You Positive and Connected During a Time Of Change

With current feelings of uncertainty and many of us having to change our routines or be at home more than usual, I wanted to put a blog together with some of the useful links I have come across that can offer some go to’s for support. Plus offer some ideas for what you can do at home to keep your mental health positive and keep you busy.

I also feel it’s important to say that it’s very normal to feel extra stress or anxiety during these times. While we might need to be physically distant from people, it doesn’t have to mean we can’t stay connected. Connection is what’s going to help get through these times, because after all we are all fighting this thing together. Within my own social group I have been encouraging people to reach out every so often and even share ideas for what they are doing to keep going.

Also note that if you currently have a team of medical and health professionals that you see regularly, feel free to talk to them about phone or online forms of support. Likewise if you are noticing changes and feel you’d benefit from support, please reach out, as us health care professionals are doing our best to stay in contact.

Now….

Here are a few links that I came across regarding information and support:

Ask Izzy- which is a highly useful and well put together website for helpful information regarding Corona Virus. Not only can you find health information but also you can search your local area or supplies, where to find food, health care, support services etc. You can basically ask Izzy anything.

https://askizzy.org.au/?fbclid=IwAR2qV3XX6eF9emoXtkdhsATM_AZ-zVroRZtUizo7gCwz6HCVQgA-KyhOlyc

Headspace- These website links below are how Headspace are offering their supports. Lots of useful information about coping with stress and anxiety and other free resources like meditation clips and other videos. They are also helping healthcare professionals and other workers dealing with COVID-19 on the front-line. I was a little hesitant to include the first link as it’s mainly US based but times might change so just know the support is out there.

https://www.headspace.com/covid-19?fbclid=IwAR3YhDQQ3do_Afj2aL-xQQ2VzfKIeiiewaK7tGAG4xkqRKDJ-HhgvgOoMww

https://headspace.org.au/young-people/how-to-cope-with-stress-related-to-covid-19/

Calm blog- I love the Calm app and all the resources it has to offer but even better I found this blog that has compiled everything like meditation clips or yoga videos all together for your use and they are free! Like they say keep calm, take a deep breath and let’s meet this moment together.

https://blog.calm.com/take-a-deep-breath

Beyond Blue – This blog has some useful tips for managing your mental health and considers all/most aspects that might come up during these times. As always they are a great support service, over the phone and 24/7 and aim to be there when you might need them.

 

ABC Life blog: There are many blogs out there which are talking about what you can do while working at home. I decided to add a link to this one simply because I felt the advice was practical and related for people doing office work from home, however please feel free to seek out other blogs and tips as there’s no right or wrong.