About telehealth at Peter Mac

If you are a Peter Mac clinician, you can use telehealth for any patient, whenever you think it is clinically appropriate and better for the patient than travelling to Peter Mac.

Need to know:

Do I need a special log-on to use telehealth?

Yes, request your logon via the IT Service Desk:

Frequently asked questions:

    Do I have to do any training?

    Video Call is very intuitive to use. You do need to know some basics and some essential troubleshooting. Please complete this online training and talk to a Peter Mac telehealth super user.

    How can I request telehealth?

    A telehealth appointment can be requested the same way as other appointments. This can be done via QFlow, consultation forms, as part of the discharge process or any other way an appointment is usually requested. When requesting telehealth please make sure to specify if it is a telehealth with patient only consult or a telehealth with a local clinician. If the consult is to be with a local clinician please specify the name.

    Which patients are eligible for telehealth?

    All patients are eligible for telehealth if it is deemed clinically suitable.

    Who can offer telehealth?

    All clinicians can offer telehealth. Not all telehealth is eligible for Medicare billing but all must be recorded as a telehealth encounter for Activity Based Funding (ABF) VINAH reporting and to be listed in the patients appointment history.

    How do I book a telehealth appointment?

    • All Specialist Clinics staff can book routine telehealth with patient only consults.
    • Telehealth that is run outside of usual clinic time, and telehealth including a local doctor, is booked by Patient Navigator staff or Specialists clinic staff who have received specific training in booking supported telehealth.
    • Telehealth run outside of a clinician's usual clinic time must be booked in to a 'Telehealth clinic' in Qflow - eg "TH - Haematology". These appointments are only scheduled or amended by designated staff.

    What are the criteria for Medicare billable telehealth? How does billing work?

     A telehealth consultation can be billed to Medicare when certain criteria are met.

    In Summary:

    • The patient must be in rural or regional Australia at the time (RA 2-5 on this map)
    • The appointment must include a Peter Mac specialist doctor - medical consultant.
    • The patient must be 15km or more away from the specialist doctor.
    • Alternatively, the patient could be in an Aged Care Facility or Aboriginal Medical Service - in which case they could be anywhere including metropolitan Melbourne.
    • Peter Mac must have a valid and up-to-date referral.
    • The patient must provide consent for Peter Mac to bill Medicare on their behalf.

    For more information see Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) online.

    Can I use telehealth infrastructure for meetings or interviews?

    Yes, Video Call is freely available for anyone to use for any work-related purpose including non-clinical.  It is best suited between 2-3 sites.

    Can I use Skype or another software?

    Video Call is the preferred platform.  It can get confusing for patients and staff when different applications are used and thus it is preferred that Skype and other tools are avoided where possible.

    What about the video conference units?

    • When the participant at the other end uses a video-conference unit (VCU), Peter Mac must connect using one of the VCU’s here, or Pexip – a software program available on Peter Mac computers and phones.  We also have 18 VCU-equipped meeting rooms, identified in the Outlook calendar by the words “Advanced video-conf”.  There are also two semi-mobile units - on L9 and in the Familial Cancer Centre (FCC). 
    • The advantage of VCUs can be the more reliable connection (often using a dedicated network) in areas of unreliable internet, and the high-grade remotely-controllable camera.  This can be useful for larger meetings and where you at Peter Mac want to control the remote camera, for example in an emergency setting. 
    • Contact the IT Service Desk about using these.

    What are the medico-legal implications of telehealth?

    Management for telehealth providers (from the Medical Defence Association)

    Where can I learn more about telehealth?

    How can I organise for pathology or imaging to be done locally?

    Fax the standard Peter Mac imaging or pathology request to any local service including your provider number. Ask the patient to attend that service. The report will be sent to you and /or you can request to access results / imaging online.