Policies and Procedures

Kid Link Occupational Therapy

Policies and Procedures 

Updated 27.6.18

Our main objective is for your child to succeed, and for this to happen, we want to create a relationship that fosters teamwork. Our policies are in place to support all involved parties in committing to working together, to ensure you and your child gets the most out of therapy. Please read the below information carefully and call us at any time with any questions.

MISSED APPOINTMENTS: Private, DSS Funded, and Third Party Funded

Definitions

  • Cancelled appointment: The family cancels the appointment by calling the clinic prior to the scheduled appointment.
  • Missed Appointment/No-show: When a family does not attend the service, is not available, or is not at the agreed location to receive a scheduled support and does not notify the clinic via phone.

Appointments are booked on a term-by-term basis and we enjoy being able to offer families the same day/time for each appointment for the term. This regular booking helps with consistency and allows for all parties to commit to the child’s Occupational Therapy program and goal achievement. It also helps you to be able organise other appointments or notify school/kinder as needed. As we have put this appointment time aside for you for the term, we ask for you to let us know any appointments you will not be able to attend by close of business on the day of your first session for the term. We will then cancel any future appointments for that term at no cost.

While we understand things come up, as a clinic we are unable to afford the cost of the high volume of cancellations and/or missed appointments without increasing our fees significantly. Most families prefer regular appointments so where cancellations occur, the appointment usually remains open.

We allow 1 cancelled appointment with no fee per term, providing notice is given. If you need to cancel any further scheduled appointments, we require you to share in the cost of this missed appointment by paying a fee of $70. This is regardless of the reason or amount of notice provided. When there is a missed appointment or a no show, a $70 fee will automatically be charged.

Regular therapy requires a high level of commitment from all parties and we understand that this commitment may not suit all families and their individual circumstances. If you would prefer to look at a ‘book as you go’ option and avoid any cancellation fees, then please call the admin team who will be happy to discuss other options with you.

Kid Link Occupational Therapy reserves the right to void the privilege of holding a specific time for families who repeatedly do not attend or cancel their appointment, regardless of the amount of notice provided. We will always discuss alternative booking options and be supportive and understanding where possible, so we urge families to call and let us know about exceptional circumstances so we can do what we can to come to an arrangement that suits all parties.

Special Circumstances: Charges may be waived if the customer has experienced a catastrophe, e.g. emergency hospitalisation or a death in the family. The decision to waive the charge in extenuating and emergency circumstances will be made by the director of Kid Link Occupational Therapy at their discretion. The decision not to charge does not apply in any other circumstances and is not exercisable by other staff.

 

MISSED APPOINTMENTS: NDIS

The NDIA Price Guide suggests specific policies regarding cancellation depending on the notice given. Please refer to your personalised service agreement with Kid Link Occupational Therapy for additional NDIS policies and procedures or email us for a copy.

Kid Link aims:

  • to reflect the requirements of the NDIS Terms of Business for Registered Providers and the most current NDIA Price Guide.
  • to balance customer and organisational financial interests in relation to cancellations and no-shows, and
  • to make all reasonable attempts to safeguard customers who no-show.

Definitions

  • Missed/cancelled Appointment With Notice: Cancellation of the scheduled delivery of supports outside of the notice period (3pm the day before), as required by the Service Agreement.
  • Missed/cancelled Appointment Without Notice: Where no notice or less than the notice period (3pm the day before) required by the Service Agreement has been given.
  • No-show: When a customer does not attend the service, is not available, or is not at the agreed location to receive a scheduled support and does not notify the clinic via phone.

Where an appointment is cancelled without notice (after 3pm the day before the scheduled service) or there is a no show90% of the full session fee will be charged.

Policy

If a client cancels with notice (before 3pm the day before the scheduled service), no fee will be applied. Appointments are made on a term-by-term basis and while we try to give clients the same day/time, Kid Link Occupational Therapy reserves the right to void this privilege for families who repeatedly do not attend or cancel their appointment, regardless of the amount of notice provided. We will then discuss alternative booking options.

Home/Community based sessions: Please note that home/community based sessions require a higher level of commitment due to travel and additional administration requirements. We therefore reserve the right to offer this service on an ongoing basis, depending on the capacity of the Practice, the location of the visit and the family circumstances.

Special Circumstances: Charges may be waived if the customer has experienced a catastrophe, e.g. emergency hospitalisation or a death in the family. The decision to waive the charge in extenuating and emergency circumstances will be made by the director of Kid Link OT at their discretion. The decision not to charge does not apply in any other circumstances and is not exercisable by other staff.

 

PAYMENTS FOR MISSED APPOINTMENTS

When you make contact to advise us that you will be missing a scheduled appointment, we will create an invoice, which is to be paid at your next appointment. If you are unable to make this payment, please let us know when we make contact as payment plans can be provided in special circumstances.

Use of NDIS for missed/cancelled appointments:

  • Up to and including 6 hours of billable appointments a year can be funded by NDIS: The National Disability Insurance Agency permits that cancellations with or without notice and no-shows for therapy can be charged the relevant fee up to (and including) 6 hours a year.
  • 7th or more hours: an invoice will be provided to the family for the relevant fee. This fee is to be funded privately.

Use of Third Party funding (e.g. Anglicare, Care Connect) for missed/cancelled appointments:

For all clients that have appointments paid by an outside organisation, Kid Link have a responsibility to all of these organisations to use the funds for therapy and be accountable to outcomes. For this reason, most of these organisations will not fund cancellation fees. In the event you are unable to pay the cancellation fee yourself, you will need to provide the third party with the invoice for the cancellation fee yourself and the fee will need to be paid by the next appointment (by either the third party or yourself).

Use of DSS funding for missed/cancelled appointments:

If you use DSS funding to pay for your child’s Occupational Therapy sessions, they do not cover any cancellations. Any missed appointment fees will need to be paid for out of pocket.

Use of Medicare Plans for missed/cancelled appointments:

Medicare plans can only be used for Occupational Therapy sessions when the child is present. Medicare Rebates are unable to be used towards missed or cancelled appointments. The cancellation fee will need to be funded privately in full.

BOOKINGS PROCEDURE

  1. When you first make contact with us, the administration team will obtain some personal and background information and create an electronic file. They will ask you to look at our website and make yourself familiar with all of our policies and procedures prior to your first appointment. A copy can also be e-mailed or posted on request.
  2. Depending on availability, we will book your initial appointment or place you on our waiting list for a time that suits you and your family. You will usually receive a booking confirmation text and/or email and will also receive an appointment reminder 2 days before the session. If you have not received your appointment confirmation 48 hours before your appointment, please check your spam or junk email folder and if you have no received it, please contact us straight away.
  3. On the day of your first appointment, please come 10 minutes early to complete the full client information and consent forms.
  4. The fee for the initial appointment and each subsequent appointment is set out in our fee schedule which can be provided on request at any time by calling the admin team. It is also displayed in our waiting room.

 SESSION OUTLINE

Our aim is for every child and student to have success in therapy. This requires the commitment of you, your child and your child’s clinician. Home practice will be recommended in most cases and is necessary as part of the therapy success.  Occupational Therapy services at Kid Link Occupational Therapy are family centred and therefore based on the goals that you have for your child. Therapy will be provided based on goals and plan agreed upon by both parties at the intake appointment.

Sessions at the clinic are usually 60 minutes. School based sessions are 45 or 50 minutes depending on your child’s school and timetabling restraints. Please ensure you arrive on time for each appointment to ensure you receive all of your allocated time. To avoid disadvantaging other clients or team members, we are unable to extend therapy sessions when you are late for your appointment.

Sessions are booked on a term-by-term basis and as an agreement of therapy you agree to a regular weekly/fortnightly or monthly session (unless other arrangements are made) for a term at a time.

Towards the end of the term, your OT will discuss progress with you and you can make a decision about continuation of therapy as needed. If you decide to conclude Occupational Therapy services, we require 2 week’s notice and where possible, your next and final appointment will be used as a handover/discharge session and a summary of your child’s Occupational Therapy program to date will be provided to you. This ensures consistency in service delivery and success for the goals set out for the child.

Session summary notes are provided after each appointment. Regular session notes can be expected within 3-4 business days and initial or specialised appointments (school observations, assessments or screens) can be expected within 7 business days. To ensure you and your child get desired outcomes from the Occupational Therapy program and progress can be made, it is essential that session notes are read and homework tasks/recommendations are completed. We want to promote teamwork and success, so please talk to your therapist if recommendations are unable to be completed. We can then adjust programs, homework and session plans to suit your family’s situation.

PAYMENT

Clinic: Credit card, EFTPOS or cash are accepted at the time of the session.

Offsite (School or home)/ Saturday appointments: If your child’s appointments are not held at the clinic or are held on Saturdays, please provide us with your payment details. As we usually require payment at the time of the session, if your appointment is on a Saturday or your child is seen at school, it is a condition of this service type that you give consent for direct billing or call during business hours priorto your child’s session, to pay over the phone. We also accept cash at the time of the appointment.

For direct billing, we will usually process the payment here in the clinic on the day of the scheduled appointment or the following Monday for Saturday appointments. Receipts containing all information required to claim from Health Insurers and Medicare will be issued following payment. If, for any reason you need us to process your payment on a different day, please discuss this with admin prior to the sessions commencing or call as soon as possible to pay over the phone. There is a $10 admin fee if the payment is rejected and/or we need to spend time chasing payments.

 

National Disability Insurance Scheme: Please refer to your NDIS Plan and Service Agreement to determine how your funds are managed (NDIA managed, Self managed, Third party managed). This will determine how your child’s sessions will be paid. The specific policies and procedures relevant to you are outlined in your NDIS Service Agreement. Monitoring use of your child’s funds and the funding balance is your responsibility. In the event you or your child receives a service or orders resources, and there is insufficient funds to pay for this service in full, the fee (or balance of the fee) will need to be covered by you.

DSS/FaHCSIA:You will need to show the admin team your DSS Introduction Letter before your first session, to be able to claim this session under your DSS/FaHCSIA funding. Relevant paperwork and consent is filled in at your first DSS funded appointment. You will sign a Service Delivery Record each time your child attends a session and we will claim the payment for the session directly. No payment is required from the family. Monitoring use of your child’s funds and the funding balance is your responsibility. In the event you or your child receives service or orders resources, and there are insufficient funds to pay for this service in full, the fee (or balance of the fee) will need to be covered by you. 

Private Health: We strongly encourage you to contact your health insurer to determine your level of Extras Health Insurance if applicable. The session must be paid for in full at the time of consultation. It is your responsibility to claim all benefits from your health insurer after payment to Kid Link.

Medicare Rebates: There is an out of pocket expense when using either a Chronic Disease Management Plan or a Better Access to Mental Health plan. Families are required to pay for the session in full at the time of consultation. We are usually able to process the rebate via HICAPS at the time of the session however in the event that we are unable to claim, you will be issued with a receipt and you will need to take this to Medicare or claim online/through the Medicare app to obtain your rebate.

Please note:

Therapists are committed to teamwork and will attend student meetings if appropriate. However, attendance at meetings, phone consultations and report writing are usually not claimable through Private Health Insurance, NDIS, Medicare or FaHCSIA programmes. The cost of these services will need to be met by parents.

If our payment options don’t suit, please call the admin team to discuss other options.

 

EQUIPMENT POLICY

At Kid Link, we aim to work with families to decide on resources that may be beneficial given the child’s Occupational Therapy goals. We aim to suggest evidence based and appropriate resources where possible that are based on the needs and reports of the family. We will always discuss possible benefits and risks of different resources however the purchase and use of the resource/equipment is then the responsibility of the family. The family is responsible for ensuring appropriate use of any items and providing adequate supervision and assistance during their use. I will not hold Kid Link Occupational Therapy Pty Ltd or the treating therapist responsible for any outcomes associated with the use of equipment or resources that may or may not have suggested in therapy.

DSS: Resources and Equipment: Any equipment purchased through DSS funding needs to be discussed with the child’s therapist and deemed “reasonable and necessary” in supporting the child’s current Occupational Therapy goals, before the item is ordered. In most cases, Once approved, I will need to pay upfront and then provide my Occupational Therapy with the receipts at my next scheduled appointment and complete relevant paperwork. I will then be reimbursed within 14 business days unless otherwise notified. 

 

NDIS Resources and Equipment: Some equipment prescription and home modification is more specialised or requires customisation. There are also specific funding categories for equipment/modification that Kid Link may not be registered for. In this instance, you may be referred to a different service provider if this kind of prescription is required. Where Kid Link can recommend resources, Kid Link takes a client centred approach to all assessment and equipment prescription and will work with families to identify resources which may benefit the child given their individual needs. Any equipment purchased through funding sources needs to be discussed with the child’s therapist and deemed “reasonable and necessary” in supporting the child’s current Occupational Therapy goals, before resources are ordered or claimed for.

PRIVACY POLICY

Kid Link Occupational Therapy complies with State and Federal Privacy requirements for confidentiality and privacy. We aim to ensure clients of Kid Link Occupational Therapy are comfortable in entrusting their health information to the Practice. This policy provides information to clients as to how their personal information (which includes their health information) is collected and used within the Practice, and the circumstances in which we may disclose it to third parties. The Australian Privacy Principles (APP) provide a privacy protection framework that supports the rights and obligations of collecting, holding, using, accessing and correcting personal information.

This policy will guide staff in meeting these legal obligations. It also details to clients how the Practice uses their personal information.

Kid Link Occupational Therapy will:

  • Provide a copy of this policy upon request and have it accessible on our website and in our clinic waiting room
  • Ensure staff comply with the APP and deal appropriately with enquires or concerns
  • Collect personal information for the primary purpose of managing a client’s healthcare and for financial claims and payments.

Staff Responsibility

The Practice’s staff will take reasonable steps to ensure clients understand:

  • What information has been and is being collected
  • Why the information is being collected, and whether this is due to a legal requirement
  • How the information will be used or disclosed
  • Why and when their consent is necessary
  • The Practice’s procedures for access and correction of information, and responding to complaints of information breaches, including by providing this policy.

 Collection of Information

To ensure we can offer the best service possible, we will need to collect personal information as a provision of clinical services to a client at the practice. We aim to always collect information that is necessary to provide this service while adhering to all guidelines. We keep health information for a minimum of 7 years from the date of last entry in the client record.Collected personal information will include clients’:

  • Name, addresses and contact details
  • Medicare number (where available) for identification and claiming purposes
  • Medical information including medical history, medications, allergies, social history, family information
  • Other professionals involved in the client’s care and/or treatment
  • Educational setting information (e.g. school class teacher’s name and contact details)

A client’s personal information may be held at the Practice in various forms:

  • As paper records
  • As electronic records
  • As visual –videos and photos
  • As audio recordings
  • As emails

The Practice’s procedure for collecting personal information is set out below:

  1. Practice staff collects clients’ personal and demographic information via registration when clients present to the Practice for the first time (by phone or in person). Clients are encouraged to pay attention to this policy via our website or to request a copy be provided via email or in person.
  2. During the course of providing therapy services, the occupational therapists will consequently collect further personal information through an interview with the family.
  3. Personal information may also be collected from other relevant stakeholders (where practicable and necessary).

Use and disclosure of information

Personal information will only be used for the purpose of providing Occupational Therapy services and for claims and payments, unless otherwise consented to. The Practice evaluates all unsolicited information it receives to decide if it should be kept, acted on or destroyed.

The Practice will not disclose personal information to any third party other than in the course of providing Occupational Therapy services. Please note that parents and/or primary caregivers are entitled to ask for copies of their child’s records and/or notes. Please be aware of this in relation to your individual family circumstances, and provide us with any court orders that may impact on what parties are entitled to access. Summary reports or feedback sessions can be provided at a cost to the requesting parent as needed. Exceptions to disclose without client consent are where the information is: Required by law, Necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to a client’s life, health or safety or public health or safety, or it is impractical to obtain the client’s consent.

Primary caregiver email addresses are used to communicate information about the clinic in the form of a termly newsletter. Email addresses and/or mobile numbers are used to send appointment reminders. Clients may opt out of reminders at any time by notifying the Practice in a letter or email. Clients can opt out of newsletters by unsubscribing at the bottom the newsletter email.

 

QUERIES AND QUESTIONS

We welcome any feedback and would love to hear from you in person or in writing. Feel free to call Jackie (Director) on 9879 7019 or email jackie@kidlink.net.au at any time. If you wish to provide us with written feedback, gain access to your personal information, have a complaint about a breach of your privacy or you have any query on how your personal information is collected or used, please forward your query to admin@kidlink.net.au or if you would prefer to remain anonymous, feel free to post a letter to 37 Great Ryrie Street, Ringwood VIC 3134. We will respond to you as soon as reasonably possible.

CHANGES TO POLICIES AND PROCEDURE STATEMENT

We may amend these Policies and Procedures as our business requirements or the law changes. Any changes to this will be updated on our website and in the clinic, so please re-visit the Statement at least quarterly to ensure that you are aware of our most current privacy statement. The date of the last update will be at the top of the page.

FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT PRIVACY

For further information about the protection of your privacy, please visit the Australian Federal Privacy Commissioner’s website at www.privacy.gov.au

 

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