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Telehealth Reversal Bites Menopausal Women

A sudden pullback of Telehealth rebates by the Australian Government leaves WellFemme menopause clients out of pocket.

From July 20th, only consultations with a patient’s “usual” GP or practice will attract a Medicare rebate. The reversal is in response to a rash of “popup” Telehealth clinics that don’t facilitate continuity of care with a patient’s primary care provider: https://www.health.gov.au/…/continuous-care-with-telehealth…

WellFemme was established in 2018 as Australia’s first dedicated Telehealth Menopause Clinic. Before the COVID crisis there were no Medicare rebates for WellFemme clients because there were no Telehealth items for GP’s delivering services directly to patients.

‘Specialists’ such as gynaecologists can provide rebated Telehealth menopause consultations on referral by a GP, regardless of whether they are menopause experts. GP’s who are experts in their field however are not recognised as specialists by Medicare, so the specialist rebates do not apply.

It was expected that Telehealth rebates would be available until September 30th. As a result of this announcement, WellFemme consultations will unfortunately no longer attract a Medicare rebate. WellFemme’s position has been made known the the RACGP and MBS Review Taskforce; we continue to work hard for change in this area by:

  • lobbying government and general practice organisations with letters and petitions;
  • efforts to organise other GP specialists to appeal this ruling; and
  • ongoing efforts to publicise the inequities of this situation.

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Dr Kelly Teagle is a proud GP. WellFemme is built on a foundation of quality care and communication with our clients’ usual GP’s. If you believe that services like WellFemme should be funded by Medicare, PLEASE let the Australian Government know by signing our online petition using the link above.

WellFemme’s 45-minute comprehensive consultations involve around 75 minutes’ work for our doctor; at $200 this represents good value for money compared to the out-of-pocket costs for many specialist visits. The fee covers services including:

  • An extensive medical and lifestyle history;
  • Assessment of peri/menopause related symptoms;
  • Lifestyle, diet and supplement advice;
  • Discussion of medical treatment options;
  • Prescriptions;
  • Pathology/ radiology referrals as needed, and
  • A comprehensive written report for clients to discuss with their GP.

Consultation fees are also offset by other savings in time and money:

  • No travel requirement (which could be hundreds of kilometres in some cases);
  • No GP appointment to obtain a referral;
  • No ongoing costs for expensive, unproven treatments, and
  • A specialised menopause service when and wherever you need it.

WellFemme can still offer half-price consultations to women in regional, rural and remote areas who participate in our pilot study:  https://wellfemme.com.au/wellfemmes-pilot-study/

Women who live in designated COVID hot-spot areas can also claim a rebate for WellFemme consultations for a limited time.

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What is WellFemme About?

If you can’t find the professional help you need for your perimenopausal symptoms then book a telehealth consultation with a female WellFemme menopause doctor.

Heavily discounted consultations are also available for women in regional, rural and remote areas who agree to complete short questionnaires for WellFemme’s Pilot Study.

Not sure if Telehealth is for you? Free trial consultations are available to find out how WellFemme can help with your menopausal symptoms.