FAQs

FAQ for Patients

Dokotela offers telehealth appointments with Psychiatrists, Geriatricians and Psychologists. You see our specialists by a secure video conferencing platform. 

Some face to face appointments are also available in certain areas. 

The Dokotela platform facilitates access to mental health clinicians where and when you need them. Our clinicians are independent professionals with broad expertise. Dokotela has no control over the conduct of health providers and clients who use the platform. We welcome any feedback and will pass it onto your clinician.

Psychiatrists are doctors that specialise in mental health. They make a thorough assessment based on taking a comprehensive history from you regarding the symptoms you have been experiencing. They will then recommend suitable treatment. Mental illness can be treated and many people recover well or even completely. 

Your first appointment with a psychiatrist will usually be approximately 1 hour. During this appointment your psychiatrist will:

  • ask you about your concerns and symptoms
  • ask questions about your general health
  • ask about your family history and patters of behaviour
  • may ask you to fill out a questionnaire or gather some other information. 

The long appointment gives the psychiatrist time to ask all required questions, listen to you and understand each aspect of your situation. They might also want to speak with other health professionals or members of your family. Your psychiatrist may order some more tests to help them understand what is going on.

It might take one or more appointments for your psychiatrist to make a diagnosis. The next step is to work out a treatment plan. A treatment plan is a combination of therapies that suit your health, preferences, family situation and age. Usually (but not always) the treatment plan will include some medication, psychological therapies and lifestyle changes. You and your psychiatrist will work together to develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.

A geriatrician is a specialist doctor who cares for people over the age of 65 years, who usually have several health conditions or illnesses.

Geriatricians help manage:

  • dementia and other cognitive problems
  • mobility and frailty
  • incontinence
  • nutrition
  • medicines
  • other complex medical issues.

A geriatrician will conduct a comprehensive assessment by asking you many questions about your physical and mental health. This is to help them understand your physical and mental condition, as well as your social situation.

A geriatrician will work with you to put together a management plan or healthcare plan to help keep you as healthy and as independent as possible.

Psychologists are not doctors. Rather they are professionals who have studied human behaviour, including how people think and feel. A Psychologist can help you by providing therapy and counselling to reduce distress, help people manage psychological problems and help you learn to cope with stressful or upsetting situations. 

There are many different styles of therapy, but the psychologist will work with you to identify the best approach to address your concerns. Some common types of therapy are cognitive-behavioural, dialectical behavioural, interpersonal and acceptance commitment therapy. 

Psychologists do not prescribe medications. 

Appointment lengths vary depending on the specialist you are seeing, but the below gives you an indication:

Psychiatrist: Initial Appointment 60 minutes
Psychiatrist: Subsequent Appointment 30-60 minutes
Psychologist: 60 minutes
Geriatrician: Initial Appointment 60 minutes
Geriatrician: Subsequent Appointment 30-60 Minutes

Telehealth is a virtual consultation that is completed over a video platform such as Zoom or Coviu. Appointments are performed from either a GP clinic or from the patients home.  It is not a phone call, the Specialist must be able to both see and hear you for a consultation.

Psychiatrist or Geriatrician:  You need a referral from your GP to one of our specialists . This should be less than 1 year old. Please ask your GP to address this to “Dokotela Specialists”. You or your GP can send the referral, please send this to referrals@dokotela.com.au

Psychologists: You need a mental health care plan form your GP. Please send this to Dokotela referrals@dokotela.com.au 

Work Cover: You require an approval letter from your Insurance Company. Please send to admin@dokotela.com.au

For some people and in some situations, telehealth (seeing someone by video or telephone), can be just as effective or more effective than in-person care. The benefits of telehealth is access to a specialist for your healthcare needs anywhere, anytime, without having to travel long distances.

Everyone has individual preferences. Some people prefer telehealth because it is more convenient and they feel they find it less intimidating than going to a doctors office. Other people prefer to sit in the same room as the person they are talking to. The best way to know is to try it out! 

You can have your appointment from your home or from your GP practice. Either way you will need a device with a camera and microphone and a good internet connection. 

Home appointments: You can book an appointment online at any time that is convenient for you. 

Appointments from your GP practice: Please contact your GP practice to check if they can facilitate the appointment at a time that is convenient for you. If they need more details they can contact Dokotela directly to inquire on admin@dokotela.com.au or 02 8003 7668. 

Your appointment should be held in a private room at home or office. If you are not in a safe and appropriate location your appointment will be terminated and you will be charged a cancellation fee

You will need a device with a camera, speaker, microphone and good internet connection. 

If you don’t have the equipment you need for the appointment or are not confident to join the video conference yourself you have two options. 

  1. You can do the appointment with a friend or family member who has a device and internet connection you can use, if you are comfortable with this option.
  2. We can arrange for the appointment to be facilitated from your referring GP clinic, so that the staff in the practice can help you connect to your appointment. If you would like to take this option, please call our practice on 02 8003 7668 so we can help you book this in.

If your referring GP clinic is able to facilitate your telehealth appointment then yes absolutely.  Our team will be able to arrange the appointments on your behalf. If you would like to take this option, please call our practice on 02 8003 7668 so we can help you book this in.

You will need to arrive at the GP practice at least 15 minutes prior to your appointment time and the GP reception staff will assist you to join the video conference. 

Please refer to our fees page for the latest and most accurate information.

Generally wait times for an appointment are 2-6 weeks. If you are flexible with the times you are available, we can get you seen quickly. We can also place you on a cancellation list for an earlier appointment (please send us an email admin@dokotela.com.au requesting you are added to the waitlist after booking your appointment) 

Please note that we are not an emergency service. If you do require urgent care, please see your general practitioner, or go to the emergency department at your local hospital.

Once you have completed your online booking, you will receive a confirmation SMS to your mobile number (please allow 5-10 minutes). This will contain all information including day and time of your appointment, the specialist you will be seeing, and instructions for the appointment (whether it is over video call or in person). You will also receive an SMS reminder a few days before your appointment. 

We require:

  • A valid referral (or mental health care plan if you are seeing a Psychologist)
  • Medicare card
  • Debit or credit card for payment
  • Up to date contact information
  • Workcover clients also require an approval letter

We require a debit or credit card to secure your appointment and process payment before the appointment. 

Please note that if you need to cancel or change your appointment, we need at least 2 business days notice. If you do not provide enough notice or fail to show up for your appointment, you will be charged a cancellation fee of $110. 

We are unable to progress with your booking if you are unable to provide a credit or debit card as a payment method. 

You will receive an SMS reminder 5 days prior to your appointment, please reply “Yes” if you are able to attend or call us if you are unable to attend and we can re-book for another day.

Download our instructions HERE 

We recommend you bring a support person – this is a family member or friend, anyone you feel comfortable with or trust. However, you don’t have to bring anyone if you don’t want to. 

Please bring any mediation you are currently taking and if you have been to hospital lately any discharge summaries that you have available. 

family member, carer or anyone else in your life who provides you support.

There are a number of benefits for both the client and the Specialist:

  1. Gives you confidence that you have someone who can help you communicate all of the relevant information
  2. There is a great deal of information provided during the appointment and it can be difficult to remember it all
  3. Having someone that knows you well can provide additional information for the Specialist and can be helpful for the Specialists diagnosis and treatment recommendations
  4. This person can support you on your journey to recovery after the appointment

The support person may not need to stay for the whole appointment. If you feel more comfortable they can join at the end of your appointment to discuss how they can help you in your treatment journey.

You are able to change or cancel your appointment anytime up until 48 hours before your appointment at no cost by calling 02 8003 7668. 

Our cancelation policy requires at least 48 hours notice if you would like to cancel or change your appointment. These appointments are difficult to fill without you providing enough notice, so there is a fee of $110 if you do not give us 48 hours notice of a change/cancellation or you fail to show up for your appointment.

Please call (02)8003 7668 and one of our friendly clinic staff will assist you to troubleshoot.

A live chat option is also available from our website if you are having technical difficulties and a team member will be on hand to give you a call to assist.

You will be required to pay the appointment fee on the day of service. We will process payment immediately after the appointment and send the claim to Medicare, for them to process the rebate for you. There is nothing you need to do.  

Medicare generally takes 48-72 hours to process the rebate and for the amount to be deposited into your bank account, if you have registered your details with Medicare appropriately. If you do not receive the Medicare rebate, you will need to call Medicare directly to check the status of the claim and confirm your bank account details. There contact number is 1300 360 460. If you require your invoice, receipt of Medicare Statement we can email this to you, upon request. 

Most patients require at least two appointments – one to establish a diagnosis and put in place a treatment plan and a second appointment to review your progress and ensure you are happy with your progress. However, other patients may require multiple appointments. Your specialist will discuss this with you at the end of the appointment and answer any other questions you may have. 

Once your Psychiatrist has established a diagnosis and treatment plan, they will send this to your GP. Please ensure you book an appointment to see your GP. Your GP may also write any prescriptions you require. 

Once a diagnosis is made, your psychiatrist develops a treatment plan for you that may include prescribing medications. Sometimes patients attend several appointments before they’re diagnosed and given medication, while others may receive medications sooner.

If you have any concerns regarding your medications, please see your GP. They will be able to advise you of how to manage these side effects and can contact your Psychiatrist directly if required.

You should speak with your specialist at the time of your appointment. Generally, they will recommend your GP write the prescription including repeats. 

If your specialist is writing the script, it is your responsibility to ensure a follow up appointment is booked with plenty of time before your medication runs out. Our specialists are booked in advance so we may be unable to facilitate an urgent appointment if you have run out of your medication. 

Most of our specialists only provide treatment and do not fill in other documents or reports. If you do require some other documentation or report, please contact our staff on 02 8003 7668 to discuss your requirements and the cost associated. 

This includes any legal documentation, workers compensation documentation, driving assessments and firearms assessments. 

A consultation for the purposes of treatment is to evaluate and treat a patient. There is a doctor-patient relationship and the doctor’s only obligation is to the patient. The doctor generally obtains only subjective information from the patient and the family/friends the patient brings along to the appointment.

In contrast, a medical opinion or report is for the purpose of providing a medicolegal opinion. These may be requested by an employer regarding whether a person is fit for employment or by a lawyer/court where litigation involves a medical condition.

In medico-legal matters, there is no doctor-patient relationship and confidentiality is limited. Anything said by the patient in the examination may be included by the doctor in their report or provided to the court/employer.

A medico-legal process requires a far more detailed evaluation and report than a clinical consultation. The psychiatrist has to make a representation to the court that they have made all possible inquiries to verify what the patient has said and objective information is required. For example, the doctor may identify and interview collateral informants.

Medico-legal appointments are not covered by Medicare, because Medicare is only for the purposes of treatment.

FAQ for GPs & Referrers

Dokotela offers telehealth appointments with Psychiatrists, Geriatricians and Psychologists. Your patients can see our specialists by a secure video conferencing platform. Some face to face appointments are also available in certain areas. 

Dokotela is a platform that facilitates access to mental health clinicians. Our clinicians are independent professionals with broad expertise. Dokotela has no control over the conduct of health providers and clients who use the platform. We welcome any feedback and will pass it on to the clinician.

Step 1

The appointment will take place from the patients home or the GP practice. Once a booking is made, the patient and GP will receive instructions as to how to join the appointment.

Step 2

The Dokotela specialist will spend about 60 minutes with the patient undertaking a comprehensive assessment.

Step 3

The Specialist will send the GP a treatment plan that clarifies the diagnosis and clarifies the results you should expect so you are fully equipped to management the patient’s needs.

Step 4

If another appointment is required, please send a new referral to Dokotela (this is due to the Medicare item numbers). Dokotela will then contact your client to make another appointment.

Alternatively, if questions regarding your client arise you are welcome to contact our psychiatrists via our instant messaging group or email (our admin team can provide the details for both).   

Please send referrals by Healthlink (EDI: Dokotela), Medical Objects, fax (02) 8569 1844 or referrals@dokotela.com.au

If the GP practice is planning to host the appointment, we also have an easy online booking system available for GPs to book a time that suits the GP, clinic and patient. The referral is uploaded during this process. This is available on our website; For GPs/book now.

Our extensive, experienced team of Psychiatrists cover a wide range of sub-specialisations as well as the entire age range. We recommend that you address the referral to “Dokotela Specialists” and we will ensure that your patient will be seen by the most appropriate specialist.

We believe that the GP maintains the central role in patient care. We discuss the treatment plan with you, and if you are happy, we ask you to prescribe the medication (unless it is a particular type of medication the Specialist must prescribe).

Alternatively, our Specialists can prescribe and send prescriptions to the patient’s phone.

Yes absolutely, where appropriate we can book multiple appointments with the client.

If you would like a one-off assessment for your client, please request ‘Medicare item 291’ on the referral. Our specialists will prepare a detailed 12 monthly management plan (including diagnosis), so you are fully equipped to manage the patient’s needs. This will be bulk billed for rural patients who have not seen a psychiatrist in the last 12 months (excluding ADD, which incurs a fee).

If you would like the treatment plan reviewed, we will need a new referral (this is due to the Medicare item numbers). All follow-up appointments incur an out-of-pocket fee.

Alternatively, if you would prefer an initial appointment as part of ongoing treatment, please also indicate this on the referral. All of these appointments incur an out of pocket fee.

Please refer to our fees page for the latest and most accurate information.

GPs may be eligible to bill MBS Item numbers 3 or 23, if spending time with the patient following the consult to go through the treatment plan and write prescriptions. Your practice nurse can bill MBS item 10983 as incentive to facilitate the consultation.

All you need is computer or tablet with internet connection, sound, a microphone and a camera. That’s it.

Wait times for appointments will vary depending on the patient’s needs and availability at that point in time.

We would strongly encourage your patients to book an appointment and ask to be placed on a cancellation list. We have cancellations often and if patients are flexible on timing, they can usually get an appointment very quickly (within a week or two).

While we endeavour to accommodate urgent appointments, we are not an emergency service. If your patient is in need of immediate attention from a psychiatrist they should go to their nearest emergency department.

Dokotela is currently recruiting Psychiatrists to ensure we have sufficient capacity to meet demand. We have several new specialists in the pipeline to ensure that we are able to offer patients timely appointments.

Please call (02)8003 7668 and one of our friendly clinic staff will assist you to troubleshoot.

A live chat option is also available after you click on the button ‘Connect to video’ on our website.

We have an easy to use online booking system available on our website, which is available for GP clinics to book at a time that suits both the GP (so they can participate in the appointment) and the patient.

Online bookings are also available to patients directly. Patients will receive an SMS inviting them to book online after we receive their referral.

Alternatively, please call our clinic to arrange the booking on (02)8003 7668.

FAQ for Specialists

Dokotela’s aim is to make telehealth hassle-free. We take care of all the administration so that you can focus on providing high-quality care to your patients.

This includes:

  • Setting up a secure telehealth virtual room
  • Onboarding/marketing to GPs Bookings and calendar management
  • Reception service (rebooking, sending treatment plans/correspondence to GPs etc)
  • Billing

 

We hold your hand through the whole process so you can just focus on providing high-quality clinical care.

We currently provide over 1,000 consultations per month. We are a group of 35 Specialists- most are part-time a few work full-time.

Collaborative Care Model

Dokotela is different from most telehealth platforms because of the model that we always work collaboratively with GP’s in managing their patients.

Practically, we do this by always trying to arrange appointments at the GP medical practice and requesting every patient to have time discussing the treatment plan with the Specialist, GP, and carers. We also request the GP to write the prescriptions to engage the GP more closely in the treatment of their patient.

We provide educational input, diagnostic clarification, suggestions regarding medication and possible side-effects and recommend appropriate e-health psychological services. We also ask about local psychosocial services with which the patient can engage.

  1. We work as a team, we often refer patients for 2nd opinions within our team of Specialists
  2. We manage complaints on your behalf by having an assigned complaints officer who will contact the patient and ask how best to resolve the dissatisfaction, often by offering a 2nd opinion. Most complaints relate to miscommunications that can usually be easily resolved
  3. We have a Dokotela Whatsapp group for our Specialists to communicate their questions and concerns. We are all very supportive and offer advice and assistance to this group

Payment for services will be received by Dokotela so we can confirm all your appointments have been paid and there are no outstanding debtors. Each Monday you will receive a statement of payment and funds will be deposited into your account for the week prior.

Please ensure you provide MBS items immediately following each appointment to avoid payments being delayed. When you start with Dokotela you will be required to complete a Medicare form for payment details, this should be sent to us at least 10 business days before you start consulting to avoid your first payment being delayed. The principal cost in telehealth is patient non-attendance.

Dokotela operations staff work very hard to keep this to a minimum, we are constantly refining our processes. If 50% of your patients don’t attend then effectively the Specialist is paying a 50% fee! We make sure that doesn’t’ happen to our Specialsits. The quality of our operations team saves you a large amount of time and money.

Clients generally pay out-of-pocket fees unless funded by a third party (primary health network, DVA, workcover etc.) 

Some general psychiatry appointments are bulk billed at the Psychiatrists discretion for some clients in a rural or regional area as defined by the Modified Monash Model – MM2-7; in an aged care facility or an Aboriginal Medical Service. 

Clients will be required to pay the appointment fee and we will then process the Medicare rebate on their behalf.

If a patient requests a service separate from their treatment (reports, letters, forms etc.) it is at your discretion what you would like to charge the patient (we can let you know what other Specialists charge if helpful).

If a patient wants to have a consult from home for a particular reason we will ensure the patient is appropriate for a home appointment.

If you see a patient who is inappropriate for management via video conference you can speak to the GP and tell him/her that this is the case – this is your clinical decision.

You can discuss concerns with other Specialists on the WhatsApp group at any time (or call our Medical Director).

  • You can specify what types of work you will/won’t do
  • All practitioners are required to consult with Dokotela a minimum of 4 hours per week. This is to cover the cost of the subscriptions required to be on the platform.
  • You can work within your scope of practice, although by its nature telehealth tends to stretch the clinical problems that you will encounter.
  • For example, if you are not comfortable prescribing Psychostimulants we will make a note of this and not send you these patients

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