telehealth – the brave new world
is telehealth covered?
The cover offered under the MIPS Members’ Medical Indemnity Insurance Policy is as shown in the Product Disclosure Statement and Policy Wording and the provision of indemnity in all cases is subject to the terms and conditions as stated in the policy.
Subject to the following, members should note that cover for telephone or video conferencing is not excluded under the MIPS Members’ Medical Indemnity Insurance Policy.
There are a number of factors that need to be considered when engaging in telehealth. The Membership Assessment, Acceptance and Advisory Committee (“Membership Committee”) advises that members should be aware of, and familiar with, the following factors when considering participating in telehealth services:
- members have the appropriate recognised qualifications, training and experience for the health services they provide.
guidelines and standards
The Committee notes that within the Medical Board of Australia Guidelines on Technology-based patient consultations. Reference is made in ‘Providing technology-based patient consultations’, at 2.
- “Make a judgement about the appropriateness of a technology-based patient consultation and in particular, whether a direct physical examination is necessary”.
The Committee emphasised that within craft groups, physical examination is generally an important and usual element of a consultation to ensure timely and accurate diagnosis and treatment. It is an expectation of MIPS (and in respect of best practice) that as well as the patient being ‘seen’ via a teleconference with their GP in attendance , the member will also see the patient in person. This could occur at either the initial consultation (with telehealth then being used for interval management) or at the earliest opportunity commensurate with the clinical issue. The “in person” consultation may also occur with an alternate but equally qualified and experienced practitioner.
The Committee also expresses concern that there needs to be clarity as to who is responsible for patient follow up/ongoing management.
Specific queries in relation to telehealth can be directed to the Membership Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org