Introduction

The Client agrees that the “Disclosure Terms and Conditions” provides vital information and that the Provider reserves the right to change, edit, delete and update this document without notice at any time. The client agrees they are responsible to read and revisit this document from time to time.

The Client agrees that under the fullest extent made possible by the law and in respect of the legal jurisdiction of New South Wales Australia and any other laws deemed relevant by this jurisdiction that the Client’s decision to access this website and to use the services offered by the Provider conveys a clear and reasonable level of informed consent. The Client agrees that informed consent implies a high degree of indemnity assurance to the Provider as to the Client actively taking personal and/or corporate responsibility as the case may be in reading understanding and providing informed consent in light of and congruent to these “Disclosure Terms and Conditions.”

The Client agrees to provide a reasonable level of consent in writing or verbally or by virtue of the act of access that applies to the whole of their interaction with this website and the services offered by the Provider. The Client agrees that consent is ongoing, and consent can be freely withdrawn at any time. The Client agrees that having read, understood, and made an informed decision on the use of this website and the services offered by the Provider the Client will decide if the Client wishes to access engage and/or pay for the services of the Provider.

Jurisdiction

The Client agrees that in relation to any and all legal issues arising the Client and the Provider are governed by the legal jurisdiction of the State of New South Wales Australia and that all legal matters arising will be referred to this jurisdiction.

Definitions

Agency: An agency is a legal entity such as a corporate client, medical doctor or clinic, psychologist(s), non-government organisation, or government department.

Client: Any person(s) or entity who enters into a contractual arrangement for services.

Client Direct Consultations: CDC’s are available to the public only, and not to professionals or corporate bodies (for relevant categories please see ‘corporate,’ and ‘clinical supervision’).

Third Party Provider: Another professional, such as a doctor, community health nurse, occupational therapist, speech pathologist, minister, or any other support system that the client specifies.

Third Party Payment: Where an insurance provider or other payment is arranged by or part of the service to the client.

Participant, Client or Entity: A participant, client, or entity is an individual person or a legal entity that use the services of the Provider.

Provider: The Provider refers to Ability Therapy Specialists as the originator and owner of this website and the provider of services that are used by the participant, client, or entity. Individual therapist practitioners may from time to time be contracted by Ability Therapy Specialists and/or be in association with the Provider for professional, collegial, and/or administrative purpose.

NDIS: The National Disability Insurance Scheme as managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

Service Agreement: In the first instance, the Service Agreement is this “Disclosure Terms and Conditions.” Under normal circumstances the Provider may offer a template and/or tailored “service agreement” that is relevant to the service requested.

Communication Technologies

This website is provided for information purposes only. While we have made every effort to ensure the information contained in this website is free from error, the Provider does not warrant the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of the material on this website. All information is subject to change or deletion without notice. We recommend that you seek independent advice before acting upon material in this website.

Where the Client wishes to engage the Provider for any and all services such agreements will be engaged on their own merit irrespective of representations made on this website. We reserve the right to change, alter, delete or modify any service provided and all information on this site as required at any time. In relation to the course of business and to any decisions therein, the website does not constitute a definitive representation of the substance or details of business transactions and all agreements, covenants, contracts or other kinds of arrangements made between parties are represented under direct contracts, agreements, covenants or other schedules entered into in respect to the business undertaken by the parties.

We do not guarantee that this website or any third party websites or servers or email providers or other third party technology systems or companies involved in the technology and communications industries associated with the world wide internet and national and global telecommunications industries will be free from viruses, or that access to this website or any third party website email system or server or other communications technology or company involved in this service will be uninterrupted, uncompromised, or that security will be maintained. We do not guarantee, warrant, or control the quality security functioning or confidentiality of the server(s) and/or other systems through which information is routed via telecommunications and the world-wide internet including through which emails and/or any other audio, video, text, or other types of communications are facilitated via third party technologies.

In the fullest extent possible an in respect of the law of New South Wales, Australia, and of any other applicable law as deemed relevant by our legal jurisdiction, we will not be held liable for error, omission, loss, corruption, interruption, security breech, lack of quality or functioning, or any other problem associated with or arising from problems with communications exchanged via third party companies and in the course of business provision. We do not warrant the security, safety or confidentiality of passwords, messages, video, audio, emails or any other communications used and/or sent and received in the course of business provision and during the course of professional consultation particularly in respect of such communications being of confidential and highly sensitive nature to which the Client as the service user accepts full responsibility in regards to your choice and consent in undertaking these and related risks in disclosing your personal information in these contexts and by these methods. As such you agree to indemnify the Provider of all liability under the fullest extent possible under the law of all manner of loss, harm, damage, grief, and suffering that may arise whether directly or indirectly now or at any time in future and in perpetuity in association with failures of communication systems that are reasonably accepted to be outside of our direct control.

Subject to any responsibilities implied by law and which cannot be excluded, we are not liable to you for any losses, damages, liabilities, claims and expenses (including but not limited to legal costs and defence or settlement costs) whatsoever arising out of or referable to any material on this website or any third party website whether in contract, tort including negligence, statute or otherwise. Neither we nor any third parties provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or suitability of the information and materials found or offered on this website for any particular purpose. You acknowledge that such information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable. It shall be your own responsibility to ensure that any products, services or information available through this website meet your specific requirements. This website contains material which is owned by or licensed to the Provider. This material includes, but is not limited to, the design, layout, look, appearance and graphics. Reproduction is prohibited other than in accordance with the copyright notice, which forms part of these “Disclosure Terms and Conditions.” Unauthorised use of this website may give rise to a claim for damages and/or be a criminal offense. From time to time this website may also include links to other websites. These links are provided for your convenience to provide further information. They do not signify that we endorse the website(s). We have no responsibility for the content of the linked website(s).

Ethical and Professional Standards

You the Client agree that in respect for the highest standard of professional ethics in the provision of services the Provider will generally work within the principles provided by the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics and Practice 2013; the Objectives and Principles of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013, and relevant Australian anti-discrimination legislation; and the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights 1948. The Provider does not discriminate on the grounds of gender, marital status, pregnancy, age, ethnic or national origin, disability, sexual preference, religious or political belief.

The Client agrees that the Provider seeks to support the highest ethical and professional standards of practice that includes the external independent registration and/or certification of practitioners within their respective fields. Therefore, the Provider requires from individual practitioners who enjoy either temporary contractual and/or association arrangements with the Provider the annual tabling of evidence regarding professional membership, indemnity and public liability, record of clinical supervision, and signed agreement with this Disclosure Terms and Conditions along with any additional and relevant policies and procedures that the Provider may determine necessary from time to time. Wherein the case that individual practitioners work in a field that is self-regulating and outside of Australian legislative guidelines and where they are not Counsellors or Psychotherapists registered with the ACA, practitioners will abide by the ACA Code or its equivalent in their respective Association.

The Client agrees that while national entry-level into a professional association across the allied health field generally requires a Bachelor degree plus supervised practical experience, the Provider being a specialist agency generally requires from independent practitioners contracted and/or in association with the Provider at least a Master degree qualification or equivalent in education and experience including evidence of specialist capacity and areas of focus.

The Client further understands and agrees that to meet the need and demand for services regionally while supporting the community of practice, the Provider may elect from time to time to clinically supervise independent practitioners with a Bachelor degree who are actively showing evidence of gaining a graduate level qualification in addition to being members of a professional association and with current indemnity and public liability coverage.

Limits of Confidentiality

The Client agrees that all information related to You is stored in a secure manner.

The Client agrees that confidentiality is maintained to the highest ethical standards.

The Client agrees that there are limits to confidentiality explained in the clauses that follow.

  • The Client agrees that the Provider is a mandatory reporter.
  • The Client agrees that Client information may be disclosed if the law requires the disclosure or when there is reason to believe that the use or disclosure is reasonably necessary for:
  1. Reducing or preventing a serious or imminent threat to an individual’s life, health or safety, or preventing a serious threat to public health or safety.
  2. Preventing, detecting, investigating, prosecuting or punishing of criminal offences and other breaches of the law that attract a penalty.
  3. Preventing, detecting, investigating or remedying of seriously improper conduct or proscribed conduct.
  4. The preparation or conduct of proceedings before any court or tribunal.

Clinical Supervision (for the Provider)

The Client agrees that the Provider will maintain a professional framework supported by ongoing clinical supervision as a regular requirement of professional practice.

The Client agrees that the Provider may disclose de-identified information about cases that assists in the professional evaluation of the service provided.

The Client agrees that this exchange of information within professional supervision maintains Client confidentiality with the exception of statutory requirements as noted above.

Third Party Consent to Contact

The client agrees that, with the exceptions noted under the Limits of Confidentiality above, signed consent or its equivalent in writing must be given/witnessed in whatever appropriate format and will be held on file by the Provider to contact any third party provider on behalf of the Client. You agree that consent to contact third parties will indicate the nature of the request and its purpose in the context of service provision.

The Client agrees that the Provider will supply any information requested to, from, or between third parties such as doctors, therapists, agencies, or other relevant parties, in relation to the provision of supports within a reasonable time frame or as specified in the request.

Conflict of Interest Resolution

The Client agrees that regarding conflict of interest that may come to light during service provision the Provider will act to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Where an issue comes to light the Provider will raise the concern, discuss the issue, and work to resolve the potential for conflict of interest.

The client agrees that the Provider will have no financial or other interest that could directly or indirectly influence or compromise the provision of supports to a Client. The Provider will not accept offers of money, gifts, services or benefits that would cause the Provider to act in a manner contrary to the interests of the Client.

Complaints Resolution

The Client agrees that concerns and complaints are to be expressed verbally to the person directly related to the concern and complaint, and when necessary may be expressed in writing to the person directly related to the concern and complaint.

The Client agrees that if the issue is not resolved by direct communication with the person involved in the concern or complaint, the Client will contact verbally or in writing the Provider’s Director for swift handling and resolution.

The Client agrees that records related to concerns and complaints will be maintained for at least 5 years or as required by applicable law.

For NDIS and corporate fees see below.

Fee for Service: Privately Paid Consultations

The Client agrees that fee for service is the model used by the Provider for Client Direct Consultations (that do not include NDIS or third party paid consultations, please see below). Service based fees are raised during the BOOK NOW online process, allowing ease of payment via credit card or Paypal account. Certain insurance packages may apply, however the Provider cannot administer rebates and clients agree they are responsible to pay the fee and then take their receipt to their insurance company for any possible rebate.

FAQ: What about the Medicare Rebate? We do not offer a Medicare Rebate. Many ask about how the rebate works so this paragraph is “For Your Information Only.” We understand that the going rate for comparable professional services in Australia is between $140-195 AUD per 50 minute hour. Regarding Medicare rebates, as one example the fee may be set at $140 AUD per 50 minute hour with a Medicare rebate of $60 AUD (i.e. from the Medicare schedule for a Psychologist 2016). This leaves you paying out of pocket $80 AUD or more. With a fee between $140 to $195 AUD per 50 minute hour with a Medicare rebate of $84 AUD, you pay out of pocket between $56 to $111 (i.e. Medicare schedule for a Clinical Psychologist 2016). While practitioners in charity based agencies may elect to receive only the Medicare rebate making a service “free” for clients, therapy specialists tend to set fees based on professional models for service. The information in this paragraph will change with market, government policy, medical, regional, agency, or practitioner-based contexts and it is up to each person to do their research and decide what service may fit with personal needs and budget.

Clients agree that they will evaluate in comparison to other service providers the relevant training, qualifications, experience, expertise, effectiveness, and cost of services by the Provider and will make their own decision.

Yes we do offer package discounts on a pre-paid bulk number of sessions. People who plan regular programs of therapy over months or years find this particularly helpful. Please ask for details.

GST

Yes our services are GST applicable.

Fees for Other Consultations

The Client agrees that for other contractual and corporate consultations, fees and charges will be negotiated for each request and a service agreement developed in each case. This category includes providing clinical supervision to other practitioners.

The Client agrees that for NDIS Disability Funded consultations the fee structure and categories for service provision are determined by the NDIS. As this information is out of our control, and the location of information on their website may change without notice, we refer clients here:  Click on the NDIS website.

Booking is a Binding Agreement

The Client agrees that booking the provider’s time is a binding agreement to purchase/pay for the service when booked or on the day of the session.

24 Hour Cancel or Pay Policy:

Clients agree that to receive a full refund or to re-book a session without additional charge, the client must cancel a session at least 24 hours before the session.

  • If cancelled outside of 24 hours, a full refund is warranted.
  • The client may choose to re-book the session at another time – for free.

No explanation necessary, our compliments and thanks for your customer loyalty!

  • If not cancelled outside the 24 hour window, a full charge for session is warranted.
  • This is a legally binding agreement. No exceptions. Payment is expected/billed.

Thank you again for your customer loyalty!

When this is not the case: Emergencies to hospital, unexpected sickness, death of a loved one, car or other major accident, and when a doctor’s certificate is provided, the 24 hour cancel or pay policy is waived. The client agrees to please contact the provider ASAP to inform of the crisis.

The Non-payment Policy:

  • If the client is unable to pay, but wishes to settle the account, they agree to contact the Provider to offer advice that they will pay the amount within three days maximum.
  • If the client chooses to not pay, all further service will be suspended on the day following when payment is due, which is normally the day of the missed session.
  • The client agrees that in the unlikely case of refusal to pay, invoices may be sent to a collection agency.

The Client Agrees: “The 24 Hour Cancel or Pay Policy is Right” Here is why…

  1. Booking a session is entering a binding contractual agreement to pay when booking or on the day of the session.
  2. For every 50 minute session, the provider normally spends at least 2 hours that includes preparation, session time, and follow up.
  3. The provider cannot book like a medical doctor – so filling in a cancelled session is often not possible.
  4. The 24 hours is an essential minimum to try and re-book that time.
  5. By comparison the provider’s fees are lower than others in part because this business model does not account for missed fees from “no-shows.”
  6. Cancelled unpaid sessions will likely result in raising fees in future to cover this issue in the business model. Long and short, please pay for your session or cancel 24 hours before your time.

Third Party Rebates and Tax

Many Clients seek consultation for purposes that compliment or meet a business need. Claiming on tax returns for professional consultation is entirely appropriate under many circumstances including for mentoring support or capacity building for professionals across various fields, for clinical supervision, or around issues that include workplace, business, and corporate issues. The client agrees they are responsible to consult with their tax accountant or employer to see if there is provision for rebate or tax concession.

Clients agree that they will check with their insurance provider for rebates. Clients agree that depending entirely on the policies of the relevant third party such arrangements may only apply to Australian citizens and may not necessarily apply to consultation via distance within Australia. Clients agree that given the complex nature and large number of third party policies that verification of rebate is their sole responsibility.

NDIS Funded Disability Services

Clients agree that under the NDIS the word “client” will be hereby changed to “participant” to remain consistent with the scheme.

Participants agree that the Provider is registered to provide supports for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). These support clusters include the following:

  1. Behaviour Support Services
  2. Therapeutic Support Services
  3. Accommodation and Respite Support Services

Participants agree that disability support services are delivered in accordance with the Objectives and Principles of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 and its subsequent amendments, all relevant National Disability Insurance Scheme Rules and Guidelines, the Provider’s Code of Conduct, and any legislative or other requirements of the Commonwealth, State or Territory authority that are relevant to the type of support delivered.

Participants agree that the Provider maintains a high level of competence in providing supports to National Disability Insurance Scheme Participants and regularly updates knowledge and skills, and will work with a Participant to establish written or verbal agreement about the nature, quality and price of supports to be provided.

Participants agree that all supports delivered will be in accordance with that agreement and that such agreements are in accord with the National Disability Insurance Scheme Model Agreement and incorporate input from Participants including internal management of complaints and cessation of supports. Service agreements are consistent with the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s pricing arrangements and guidelines.

Participants agree that if the Provider intends to withdraw or terminate our services to a National Disability Insurance Scheme Participant, adequate notice will be given to enable the Participant, their nominee or the Agency to replace those support services. Participants agree that the time frame for notice will vary according to the nature and frequency of the support and a termination clause will be included in the agreement with the Participant and the Agency, who will be advised of an impending termination of services within a reasonable time frame and particularly if there is any risk to continuity of supports to a Participant.

Participants agree that if and when the Provider enters into plan management provision under the NDIS we will disclose any financial interests in providing advice or management supports to a Client. Where the Provider subcontracts the provision of supports such as to independent therapy practitioners, the subcontracted provider must comply with these terms and any employment or any workplace health and safety law that applies to the contractor in that provision or management, as well as all relevant ethical, legal, and professional standards set by the Provider now or as reviewed and changed at any time. Participants agree that the Provider will review the work undertaken by the subcontractor to ensure they are compliant with standards under these terms as well as relevant workplace health and safety, employment laws, and professional standards.

Participants agree that where the Provider engages an individual as an independent contractor for the provision of supports or the management of supports, the Provider will pay the independent contractor at least the amount payable as if the individual were employed in accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009. Participants agree that where the Provider engages an entity as a contractor for the provision of supports or the management of supports, the Provider will pay the entity an amount that accords with the applicable industrial instrument in relation to the work performed in fulfilment of that contract by each partner or member of the entity, including the Fair Work Act 2009 where that is applicable. The Provider agrees that the Participant will be informed of the subcontracting arrangements and efforts to confirm their understanding in documentation.

NDIS Participants: Payment for Services

Participants agree that the Provider charges for supports delivered in accordance with the National Disability Insurance Scheme pricing arrangements and guidelines, after the support has been provided, and that prepayment under this Scheme is not generally permitted for supports.

Participants agree that a claim for payment is submitted after the date of providing the support.

Participants agree that for a self-managing participant under this Scheme, the Provider will clearly set out for the Participant the costs to be paid, timing of delivery and the payment method. No fee additional to the agreed price for the support will be levied upon a Participant for reasonable and necessary supports set out in a participant’s prior agreed plan.

NDIS Clients: Conditions of Disclosure

Participants agree that with respect to NDIS Paid Disability services and records kept by the Provider, the Provider is bound by the following clause of condition to disclosure:

“With the exception of an imminent threat to life, health or safety, all requests for disclosure must be referred to the National Disability Insurance Scheme Privacy Contact Officer for consideration prior to release.”

Participants agree that the Provider is required to report serious incidents to the National Disability Insurance Scheme State Manager and to the relevant statutory authority in the local jurisdiction.

Participants agree that a serious incident is defined as:

  1. The death of, or serious injury to, a Participant,
  2. Allegations of, or actual sexual or physical assault of a Participant,
  3. Significant damage to property or serious injury to another person by a Participant,
  4. An event that has the potential to subject a Participant or National Disability Insurance Scheme to high levels of adverse public scrutiny.

Participants agree that the Provider may be reviewed by the National Disability Insurance Agency in relation to supports funded for a National Disability Insurance Scheme Client. Participants agree that the Provider will cooperate fully with National Disability Insurance Agency officers who are undertaking review activities. Participants agree that where a decision by the National Disability Insurance Agency is the subject of a merits review or complaint, or a request for information is made under the Freedom of Information Act 1982, the Provider is required to cooperate in providing any documents or other information requested.

References

Australian Counselling Association, Code of Ethics and Practice 2013
National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013
Freedom of Information Act 1982
United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights 1948

 

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