***** Our Australia-wide TeleHealth Service during CO-VID 19 pandemic 2020*****

FREQUENT QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR TELEHEALTH CO-VID 19

Q) I don’t understand Telehealth at all, how does it work?
A) Telehealth is the use of digital information and communication technologies, such as computers and mobile devices, to access health care services remotely and manage patient health care. Its typically used in rural or isolated communities, however in light of the pandemic of the Coronavirus we are now offering this service to our patients. Face time or Skype or Whatsapp video calls would be used and in some cases it may be just be an over the phone consultation. Our main priority at this stage is to be able to continue to treat patients, whilst working together with them and making sure we look after each other and ease the healthcare burden from GPs and emergency departments.

 

Q) If I am an older person who doesn’t use Skype or Face time, how does this consultation work? What form of technology needs to be used?
A) It doesn’t matter at all as long as you have a mobile preferably but even if you just have a land line, we can still achieve a successful Telehealth consultation with you

 

Q) Do I have to be in Melbourne / Victoria to have access to this type of consultation?
A) NO. **** This telehealth service is available COUNTRY WIDE and is open to any person in Australia.**** We welcome referrals from all states to ease the burden on GPs, other specialists and emergency departments.

 

Q) I am a NEW patient. Can I still use TeleHealth?
A) Yes we welcome new referrals. Our staff are on standby and ready to help you decide if a TeleHealth consultation is right for you.

 

Q) Will the clinic still be “open” during this time for phone calls and emails if I have a query or concern about anything?
A) Yes, our clinic is currently still physically OPEN and we are still performing face-to-face consults with our dermatology patients. We do want to adhere to "social distancing" and hence the reason to move the bulk of our consults to TeleHealth. This means our clinic is then physically more available to our urgent patients or those patients who we think cannot have a successful Telehealth consult. Yes our clinic will still be taking phone calls and receiving emails and corresponding back to your referring doctors as per usual. Please feel free to call (03) 9039 5644 or email your enquiries to reception@hopedermatology.com.au. In fact WE ARE EXTENDING OUR OPENING HOURS to service you better.

Please see the following:
MONDAY – FRIDAY 9.00 – 8.00 pm for phone calls and email enquiries
SATURDAY – SUNDAY – email to reception and we can triage and consider performing TeleHealth consult at a suitable time on the weekends if urgent.

 

Q) Am I able to claim this Telehealth consultation through medicare or my private health insurance?
A) Even in a face-to-face consultation in clinic, unfortunately none of the private health insurance companies cover you for a specialist visit unless you are an overseas student/overseas visitor with private insurance. In regards to claiming a rebate back from Medicare for your Telehealth consult, most of the consults will not be eligible for a rebate back from Medicare as there are currently STRICT Medicare criteria for eligibility of rebates. Medicare legislation may change over the duration of this pandemic. We will always endeavour to offer you the rebate if you are eligible. HOWEVER PLEASE NOTE: WE HAVE REDUCED OUR FEES FOR THESE CONSULTATIONS SO YOU ARE OUT OF POCKET THE SAME AMOUNT as you would be if visiting the clinic for a normal face-to-face consultation.

 

Q) Do I need a referral if I am not able to claim on medicare?
A) No you don’t need a referral for this telehealth consultation. We would ask that you DO NOT SEEK A GP referral (DO NOT present to GP clinics for now whilst the pandemic is still active). However if you have a referral already, we will ask you for the details of your referring general practitioner as the dermatologist will still want to send them a letter advising of your visit with them. At such time of the clinic re-opening for face-to-face consultations, we will then ask you to bring in your referral to the clinic at the time of your next consultation. PLEASE NOTE THAT IS THE DATE FROM WHEN YOUR REFERRAL WILL START FROM.

 

Q) Does the Dermatologist who would be doing this telehealth consultation typically work in your clinic?
A) YES, the dermatologist who will be attending this telehealth consultation with you is a dermatologist assigned to work in the clinic for Hope Dermatology in normal circumstances. We encourage you to view our website on staff information to view the profiles of Dr Hope Dinh, Dr Sarah Hannam, Dr Sarah Shen, Dr Joy Yee and Dr Aaron Robinson. Either one of these dermatologists would be consulting you through out the telehealth consultation. Once the clinic is open again after this pandemic, if it is your choice, you can continue to visit this same dermatologist.

 

Q) Are you able to consult for all skin issues/concerns using the TeleHealth system?
A) Our dermatologists can treat and address an extensive range of skin concerns using the telehealth consultations. There will be some issues which are not suitable for Telehealth such as general and routine skin checks, for example. If you are worried about a particular lesion being melanoma in particular, this could potentially still be available as  a Telehealth consult (for the purposes of medical triage). We are still currently physically OPEN for urgent face-to-face consults. As the pandemic situation is changing day-by-day, it is best to  please ring our receptionists on (03) 9039 5644, as we can certainly clarify for you any concerns you may have regarding the type of appointment you may need. A dermatologist may also be able to just give you peace of mind over a consultation.

 

Q) If at the end of the consultation I needed a script or a pathology request form how will I receive these?
A) Our reception staff will fax your script to the chemist of your choice and then send the original to the chemist for you. You then only need to present to your nominated chemist for collection of script(s).

If the dermatologist requires you to have a blood test, a pathology request will be forwarded to you. However while we are in this pandemic, we would typically advise delay of any non-urgent bloods by 2 – 3 months, if able. This is so you are not unnecessarily exposed in a pathology waiting room (minimising your risk of infection). The dermatologist performing your TeleHealth will discuss this with you in the consult; as all cases will vary.

 

Q) What if after the consult, I would like to pick up my script from a different chemist?
A) You just need to ring our clinic on (03) 9039 5644 and give the details of the new chemist and the reception staff will be more than happy to re-fax the script to that chemist of your choice.

 

Q) How will the dermatologist confirm that it is truly me when they ring me for the consultation?
A) The dermatologist will ask for 3 points of identification from you to ensure you are definitely the patient

 

Q) Will my referring/usual General Practitioner be aware of my telehealth consultation?
A) Yes definitely. The consultation will be no different for our dermatologists; they still have complete access to our database and software and therefore will be writing up notes as they would if you were in the consulting room with you. They will then be dictating a letter back to your referring or usual General practitioner and informing them of the outcome of your consultation. For non urgent letters back to your usual doctor there may be a delay in correspondence. For urgent letters, these will be typed immediately and sent to relevant doctors etc.

 

Q) What times or days do you have available for this type of consultation?
A) Due to the high demand for these types of appointments at the moment due to the current pandemic we are offering telehealth consultations during business hours, after hours and over the weekend including Sunday. Please let reception know your preference.

 

Q) If I just need a script can I use this type of consultation for this?
A) Yes. We are happy for TeleHealth to be be used this way.

How do I make an urgent appointment?

For urgent appointments, please call our clinic directly on (03) 9039 5644 or ask your GP to contact us and we can see you within 1-2 days.

We currently have a short wait list and can see patients within 3-4 weeks.

Do you accept referral letters that are not addressed to your clinic?

Yes. We understand that you may have a referral letter which your GP has addressed to another dermatology clinic.

You will be able to use this referral letter to see our dermatologists and to claim your full Medicare Rebate.

How do I confirm my appointment?

We send SMS reminders out 2 - 7 days prior to your appointment. Simply reply 'YES' to that SMS to confirm your appointment.

To cancel/reschedule appointments, please call our clinic. As a courtesy, please give 48 hours notice of cancellations so that your appointment slot may be then offered to another patient.

What do I need to bring to my appointment?

Please bring your doctors referral, Medicare Card and any relevant pathology/bloods/xray reports etc so that our reception staff can process these for your medical file. For new patients, please also bring your completed patient registration form, which can be downloaded here. Alternatively for NEW PATIENTS, please arrive 10 minutes earlier than your appointment time in order to complete paperwork.

I think I have a skin allergy. What do I need to bring to my patch testing appointment?

At the first appointment, we will take a thorough history and go through all your skin products (including hair care, perfumes, nail polishes etc). It is important you bring all the products you are using to the appointment. If you cannot bring all your products, then take photos of the products (including clear photos of the detailed ingredient lists). If you no longer have the full ingredient list on a particular product, then we will be able to source the ingredient list for you. It is important to recall all products you may be using for hobbies/work (as these products can transfer to the rest of your skin and potentially be a cause of allergic contact dermatitis eg. wet wipes with baby care, glues with renovating and hobbies, nail polish etc).

After our dermatologists have established that you need patch testing, we will make up and order the relevant patches, which can take 1 week to be ready.

Then you will have an appointment with our nurse for patch application to the back area. We will then make another appointment for 2 days time to remove the patches and perform the initial interpretation to see if there are any patches which show a reaction.

Then another 2 days after, there is the final appointment for the final reading of the patches to ascertain if there is any delayed reaction. At this final appointment, your dermatologist will give you the full results and interpretation of the patch testing and formalise an individualised treatment plan for managing your skin condition.

Do you speak other languages?

Yes we do! Our staff can assist you in English, Vietnamese, Italian (reception staff), French (reception staff), Mandarin and Shanghaiese dialect. Please inform our staff at the time of booking our appointment for your language preference, so we can book the appointment with the appropriate dermatologist.

Dr Hope Dinh speaks Vietnamese and Dr Sarah Shen speaks Mandarin and Shanghaiese dialect.

What skin conditions do you treat at Hope Dermatology?

We treat a wide range of skin conditions from newborns to the elderly.

  • Skin checks, mole checks
  • Skin cancer and melanoma surveillance and surgery (including flaps and grafts done on-site in our procedure rooms)
  • Acne 
  • Eczema, acute skin rashes, allergic skin reactions 
  • Psoriasis including biologic therapy treatment
  • Urticaria (hives) including treatment with the latest in biologics for chronic spontaneous urticaria
  • Vitiligo and other pigmentary issues 
  • Warts, molluscum
  • Acute rashes including patch testing for allergies
  • Birthmarks
  • Hair loss 
  • Nail conditions 
  • Warts and molluscum
  • Oral mucosal conditions 
  • Genital dermatology
  • Cosmetic dermatology concerns including medical grade skin care, laser rejuvenation, anti-ageing injectables, scar reduction treatments
How does Hope Dermatology differ from skin cancer clinics?

Experience and specialisation are the key differences. Skin cancer clinics are usually run by non-skin specialist doctors. Hope Dermatology is run by dermatologists (Fellows of the Australasian College of Dermatologists) who have received rigorous and extensive, formal training in the diagnosis and management of all skin conditions including skin cancers. Our passionate dermatologists are experts in the early detection of skin cancers. 

What cosmetic treatments do you offer?

We are pleased to offer you a range of tailored cosmetic dermatology treatments which go hand-in-hand with our dermatologists' instructions. Our treatments include:

  • Pigment and Vascular Laser
  • Laser Genesis 
  • Medical-Grade Peels
  • Skin Needling 
  • Dermal Filler
  • Anti-wrinkle injections
  • Injections to treat underarm sweating (partially rebatable under Medicare)
  • Medical-grade skin care ranges
  • Ultraformer III treatments 
  • LPL - LED light treatments

Please speak with our staff to arrange an appointment with our experienced dermal clinician and cosmetics nurse

Which skin care ranges do your doctors recommend?

Our doctors and cosmetic nurse will always formulate an individualised treatment plan for your skin. We stock a range of products from Ego/QV, La Roche PosayRationale, Dermaceuticals and O Cosmedics. Please speak with our cosmetics nurse or our friendly reception staff for more details on our skin care ranges. 

For more information about cosmetic dermatology treatments, please click here.

What do I need to bring to my cosmetic skin care consult?

Please ensure that you bring pictures/lists of the skin products you are using on your face/body so that our cosmetics team can advise about which skin products/treatments would compliment your existing regime. Please let us know if you have had any allergies or skin sensitivity to certain products in the past. Also let us know what skin treatments you have had in the past such as peels, injectables or laser etc. Our cosmetics team will make a detailed assessment of skin and hence please arrive to your appointment without any makeup on.

Who will perform my cosmetic injectable treatment?

Cosmetic injectables are performed by our highly skilled nurses and dermatologists. Ms Kristie Phillips, Dr Hope Dinh and Dr Sarah Hannam. For cosmetic appointments please contact reception. We have limited and very popular after hours slots for cosmetic injectables with Dr Hope Dinh.

What are the fees?

Dermatologist consultations

When you make your initial booking, you will be informed of the dermatologist consultation fee, including the out-pocket-fees after the Medicare rebate. Additional fees are applicable if procedures are performed (e.g. biopsies, injections, cryotherapy freezing or surgical excisions). Eligible pensioners have discounted rates applicable.

Veterans with DVA Gold or White card will be fully covered for all consultations and treatment/surgery.

Cosmetic Consultations

To book an appointment with our nurse/dermal clinician for a skin care consultation call the practice on (03) 9039 5644. Cosmetic consultations are approximately 45 minutes in duration and there is a fee of $50.00 + GST = $55. This cosmetic fee is redeemable on any Rationale product (must be bought on the day) or cosmetic treatment booked either on the day or within 3 months of the appointment.

Can I claim on my private health insurance?

Unfortunately, no. For Australian residents, legislation does not allow private health insurance providers to cover for medical services rendered outside the hospital setting.  

What if I'm an overseas student/visitor without a Medicare Card?

If you are an overseas student/visitor without a valid Medicare card, your overseas private health insurance usually partially covers the cost of the consultation/procedure(s). After paying our clinic fees on the day of consultation, our receptionists will provide you with the receipt and you can submit this to your health insurance company. Generally, most overseas private health insurance companies will refund you back the same amount as the Medicare Rebate for people with a Medicare card. If there is any paperwork that requires our doctors signatures, please bring this to your visit for completion on the day.

Where are the consulting rooms located?
Our brand new, modern rooms are located at 230 York Street, South Melbourne Vic 3205. With a spacious fit-out of 8 consulting/procedural rooms, we are proud to service our patients and clients with the latest in dermatology equipment for medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology issues. We are close to the iconic South Melbourne Market and surrounding suburbs of Port Melbourne, Albert Park, South Yarra, Melbourne CBD and Southbank. We are easily serviced by the number 96 Tram from the Melbourne CBD and also trams along Clarendon Street, South Melbourne. We are also close to the M1 freeway entrance, providing easy access for patients from peripheral suburbs or rural areas. There is ample un-metered parking available on the street. Otherwise on market days (Wednesdays and Fridays) you can park at the South Melbourne Market without charge for 2 hours (and perhaps enjoy the market after your appointment with us!).
Where would my surgical procedure be performed?

Our purpose-built dermatology centre in South Melbourne provides state of the art facilities for non-hospital based dermatology procedures including

  • biopsies 
  • curettage
  • electrocautery
  • cryotherapy
  • excisions
  • advanced surgical procedures such as excisions with flap/graft repair
  • cosmetic dermatology treatments including vascular and pigment laser, anti-wrinkle injections, dermal filler, medical grade-peels & skin needling
Preparing for Your Surgery

Some medical conditions may affect your surgery. Please inform your doctor if you have the following:

  • Easy fainting
  • Pacemaker
  • Heart valve diseases.
  • Recent joint replacement surgeries.
  • Take regular blood thinner medications such as warfarin.
  • History of antibiotic, anaesthetic or latex allergies.
  • Take any supplements such as fish oil.
  • Any significant medical history and regular medications

As all skin cancer surgeries are performed under local anaesthesia, there is no need to fast for the surgery. We encourage you to be well hydrated before your surgery. 

Unless instructed by our dermalogy staff, there is no need to shave around the surgery site (as this increases the infection risk).

Most of the time, we will not request you to stop your blood thinning medication if you are taking this for medical purposes. We do advise that all non-essential supplements (such as fish oil, gingko) be ceased ideally 1 week prior to surgery.

As unexpected wound problems or bleeding may occur, we recommend that you organize suitable transport arrangement to take you home after surgery. We do not recommend driving yourself after surgery, especially if surgery involves the face, scalp, hands or legs.

How will I be informed of my results - blood tests/biopsies/surgery etc?

All pathology results will be sent to our clinic for doctor review and also a copy of those results will typically be forwarded to your referring GP/specialist. 

Blood tests/ X-rays results will usually take approximately 1-3 weeks for the results to come back to us. Our staff will contact you with any abnormal results. 

When we perform any skin biopsies or surgery, any specimens that have been taken will be sent off for laboratory testing. The results typically take about 3 - 4 business days to come back to us. Scalp biopsy results for hair loss typically take longer as these need to be sent interstate to a specialist histopathologist and these results may be delayed until 3 weeks post biopsy. Typically, at the date of planned removal of sutures, pathology results will have been seen by our staff and the results will be discussed at that appointment. 

Should you be concerned about your bloods/biopsy tests and have not heard from us, please contact our nursing staff for information. 

Cancellation/No-Show Policy

We understand there are times when you miss your appointment due to emergencies/work/family obligations.  However, if you are unable to keep your appointment we ask that you kindly provide us with 48 hours notice. Your courtesy will make it possible to offer your appointment to another patient. This is how we are able to keep our wait list times short for easy patient access.

If an appointment is not confirmed by 2:00pm on the day prior, we will offer your appointment to another patient. 

Privacy Policy

It is important we collect and store your medical information in a secure manner. Our practice has developed a Privacy Policy. Please click here if you wish to understand more.

What are the fees?

Dermatologist consultations

When you make your initial booking, you will be informed of the dermatologist consultation fee, including the out-pocket-fees after the Medicare rebate. Additional fees are applicable if procedures are performed (e.g. biopsies, injections, cryotherapy freezing or surgical excisions). Eligible pensioners have discounted rates applicable.

Veterans with DVA Gold or White card will be fully covered for all consultations and treatment/surgery.

Cosmetic Consultations

To book an appointment with our nurse/dermal clinician for a skin care consultation call the practice on (03) 9039 5644. Cosmetic consultations are approximately 45 minutes in duration and there is a fee of $50.00 + GST = $55. This cosmetic fee is redeemable on any Rationale product (must be bought on the day) or cosmetic treatment booked either on the day or within 3 months of the appointment.