TERMS AND CONDITIONS AND AGREEMENT
THE CRISIS AND RESPONDER OUTREACH (CARO) SERVICE
- The CARO service is a mental health not-for-profit service established for those who have faced traumatic experiences and it consists of members and candidates of the Australian Psychoanalytical Society Incorporated (Department of Consumer Affairs Victoria).
- CARO aims to provide a psychoanalytic response to persons located in Australia that have been affected by the current worldwide humanitarian crisis and it also aims to provide a response to under resourced (psychological) humanitarian needs in Australia.
- CARO also aims to increase community awareness of psychoanalytic work by making contact with relevant organisations and circulating a specially designed brochure.
- Subject to the terms set out below, the CARO Service offers (through its professional member network) a confidential service in person or via telehealth of 1-5 sessions for the following groups:
- refugees /immigrants/those experiencing involuntary dislocation/asylum seekers.
- first responders and groups of professionals in crisis; and
- groups of mothers who are refugees /immigrants/displaced persons and their babies.
- The service is available to young people and adults, irrespective of visa status, but it is not an emergency response service Members should take appropriate steps to refer an applicant or service user to emergency services in the event of an emergency,
- To persons who are eligible to receive the CARO service in accordance with these terms and CARO policy (as amended from time to time), the sessions provided are at no cost to the recipient.
- The service utilises a similar approach to that of the Trauma Unit of the Tavistock Service, UK founded in 1988.
- All service members (i.e., the persons and organisations delivering the service referred to under the heading ‘Service Policy’) must be members or candidates for membership of the Australian Psychoanalytical Society (Inc); and fully qualified in Australia to provide the relevant services under Australian law including the requirements of The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
- The CARO service committee, which meets monthly to assess applications for care and coordinate referrals (amongst other things), is comprised of 2 co-ordinators, in addition to at least two other members, and it aims to be inclusive with respect to its members in its composition; one member will be the Director, or two may be Co-Directors.
- The service can be contacted by accessing email@example.com.
- It is the aim of CARO for an email request to be responded to by a co-ordinator within 5 days of receipt, and such co-ordinator will seek to ascertain the State or Territory in which the applicant resides and whether they will need to seek a General Practitioner (GP) referral or whether they wish for the service to be kept confidential within CARO (subject to any applicable legal obligations of CARO).
- The CARO service prefers that the prospective service user obtains and provides a GP referral to the CARO service, but CARO understands that there may be circumstances where the applicant does not wish to obtain this or is otherwise not eligible to access Medicare benefits and as such CARO aims not to deny an offer of service to qualifying applicants, where possible. Accordingly, service members are expected to accept referrals even where a GP referral has not been obtained and/or they are not eligible for Medicare.
- Subject to paragraph 5 above, the co-ordinator will determine which CARO service member is likely to be the most appropriate service provider to offer sessions and whether such provider agrees for their contact details to be given to the applicant so that a consultation can be scheduled.
- If the applicant is eligible for Medicare, service member may use Medicare to claim the ‘assigned benefit’. CARO will not however cover the costs of a service provider in respect of any service provided to an applicant/service user pursuant to a referral of the type contemplated under in this document or otherwise, including for the avoidance of doubt where such costs are not paid pursuant to a Medicare claim. Accordingly, the cost of referred services shall either be covered in part or in full by Medicare, or the services shall be performed on a pro-bono basis.
- It is CARO’s understanding that service member analysts that are not qualified medical doctors, but who are Medicare approved, may claim the ‘assigned benefit’ from Medicare for the service rendered only where the service user has a Mental Health plan via a GP referral. CARO makes no representations regarding the ability, eligibility or prospects of a service member recovering the costs of any service provided to a CARO referred person, pursuant to Medicare or otherwise. Accordingly, a service provider that accepts a referral and provides services to any such person hereby acknowledges and agrees that they may be required to provide such services without compensation and on a pro-bono basis
- The additional paperwork for bulkbilling involves the service member signing a simple form to ‘assign the benefit’ to the psychologist/medical or non-medical psychoanalyst/ candidate, and that will be explained to the service user by the CARO service co-ordinators. All service providers that are entitled to claim the ‘assigned benefit’ from Medicare must do so, as CARO will not cover the cost of any such consultation.
- If a service user requests that the subject matter of the service/consultation sessions remain confidential (including for example where an applicant does not wish to obtain and provide a GP referral or for the service provider to otherwise not disclose details of the service to their GP), then the service provider should comply with this wish (subject to any applicable requirements of law), but in this case the service user acknowledges that the Medicare bulkbilling option would not be available; and this fact will need to be properly disclosed by the service provider to the service user before any offer of sessions is made.
- The service provider must ensure that interpreters are available during a consultation if requested by the applicant or this is otherwise determined to be necessary by the service provider or CARO.
- CARO data collected will comprise of a list of the people seen, application forms and other intake information (including patient details, a detailed history of past illnesses, recent problems, developmental and family issues, a psychodynamic diagnosis where relevant and possible suggestions for treatment if determined to be appropriate), the names to which CARO member they were referred and the outcome. This might also include notes from meetings between CARO and an applicant and correspondence with relevant practitioners. It is hereby acknowledged and agreed by the service member that CARO has an absolute discretion regarding the material to be provided to any service member, and nothing in this document give rise to any right of access to any information collected by CARO.
- Once a service user is given details of a referee/organisation for ongoing care, CARO will have no legal responsibility for the service user, and the service user must be informed of this by the service provider both verbally and in a written communication. Further details regarding risk and liability are set out under the heading ‘Exclusion of Liability and Indemnity’.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CARO MEMBERS WHO OFFER CONSULTATION SESSIONS
- Members must comply with all laws, regulations and professional rules, guidelines, codes, and standards applicable to them as a mental health practitioner (including, but not limited to, all relevant requirements of their relevant professional bodies and the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Authority).
- Members must ensure that they keep all service user information secure in accordance with applicable privacy laws and their professional obligations as a practitioner, and they securely dispose of or destroy such information when it is no longer needed (subject to any legal or insurance requirements regarding the retention of records).
- Members must not disclose service user information to any person other than an authorised representative of the service or in accordance with applicable laws or as otherwise contemplated in this document (for example for the purpose of a potential referral to a professional that is not a representative of, or associated with, CARO).
- Members must send a brief report to the service co-ordinator with their recommendation for each service user promptly after completing their consultation sessions, but in any event within four weeks.
- The service provider hereby agrees and acknowledges that the CARO service has no legal responsibility for any aspect of a service users’ dealings or interactions with or treatment by individual practitioners to whom they have been referred. Accordingly, CARO assumes no responsibility for (and hereby expressly disclaims all liability in connection with) the service provided (including the potential non-availability of a referred service) to such person by any professional within CARO Service’s referral network.
- All service members must have their own professional insurance for psychoanalysis, psychotherapy and/or psychology and they must be registered and/or accredited mental health professionals.
- All service members must maintain minimum insurance cover with a reputable insurer as follows:
- Professional Indemnity insurance for cover to the value of $1 million any one claim and in the aggregate; and
- Public and Products Liability insurance for cover to the value of $20 million per claim and in the aggregate.
- The member/organisation shall at its sole expense, secure for the duration of its association with CARO (as contemplated in this document) and for a minimum period of 7 years following the cessation of any services provided as contemplated in this document, and at all times during those periods maintain professional indemnity insurance cover as set out in paragraph 2(i) above.
FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS OF THE CARO SERVICE
- CARO has its own bank account to receive donations from philanthropic bodies to support payment of interpreters and other CARO service activities.
- If the funds in the CARO bank account are in excess of the amount set aside to pay for interpreters, a service staff member may be reimbursed for offering consultation sessions to a service user who wishes the service to be confidential without a GP referral or does not have access to Medicare.
- The service provider must inform the applicant of the matters outlined in paragraph 2 above before being offered any service.
- FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR SERVICE USERS If a service user has sessions with a CARO medical psychoanalyst, they may be bulkbilled under Medicare (if eligible).
- If a service user has sessions with a CARO non-medical (qualified doctor) psychoanalyst who is Medicare approved, it is expected that they can be bulkbilled under Medicare (if eligible), but then only if the GP has been referred with a Mental Health plan for the applicable therapy.
- In the event described in paragraph 2 above, the CARO practitioner would need to claim their ‘assigned benefit’ from Medicare online for services rendered. CARO gives no guarantee or undertaking to any service provider with respect to the rights of recovery of any service cost through the bulkbilling/Medicare system.
- For the purpose of bulkbilling (and subject to any request by a service user that the service be kept confidential), the service provider must also write a brief letter to the GP after completion of the CARO service, as required under the Mental Health plan to the effect that ‘I have seen X, via telehealth, on these dates, for trauma diagnosis, with treatment utilising a psychoanalytically informed trauma intervention. Over this time, X improved, with symptoms reduced.’
- The letter to the GP could include a report for review of asylum-seeker status or a medication review, if appropriate (and subject to any contrary instructions/request of the service user).
If the service user would like further longer-term therapy, the GP could be notified of appropriate organisations or individuals whose credentials have been recognised/verified by The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and are included in the CARO Service’s referral network.
EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY, RELEASE, AND INDEMNITY
- Notwithstanding any other provision contained herein or elsewhere, CARO assumes no responsibility for (and hereby expressly disclaims all liability in connection with) the service provided (including the potential non-availability of a referred service) to such person by any professional within CARO Service’s referral network.
- Each member hereby releases and discharges any claim that they may have at any time against CARO and its directors/officers relating to the subject matter of this document including arising out of or in connection with any referral made or treatment recommendation/suggestion made as part of the service contemplated in this document.
- Without limiting CARO’s other rights and remedies, the member must indemnify CARO and each of its officers, employees, agents, and subcontractors (for each whom CARO holds the benefit of this indemnity upon trust) from any liabilities, losses, damages, costs, and expenses suffered or incurred by CARO arising out of, or relating to:
- failure to preform or improper performance of its obligations under these terms or any CARO policy (as amended from time to time) or reasonable direction.
- any injury to or death of any person or any damage to or loss of property connected with the conduct, operations, or performance by the member.
- storage or handing of the records relating to an applicant or service user.
- warranties or representations made by the member without the written authority of CARO.
- any negligence, wrongful act or omission, or breach of statutory duty by the member or by its employees, contractors, officers, or agents.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
- No license or right under any patent, copyright, trademark, tradename, logo, or any other intellectual property right, is either granted or implied to the member or anybody else under these terms and conditions.
- This document constitutes the entire agreement between CARO and the member/candidate in relation to the services referred to herein unless CARO agrees to a variation in writing to such terms.
GOVERNING LAWS AND JURISDICTION
- These terms and conditions and any ancillary documents (including any related document relating to the CARO service and its relationship with members), will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws in force in the State of Victoria, Australia and all parties submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of that State.