Policy and Procedures
Appointment and Cancellation Policy
Our goal is to provide high quality Speech Pathology services. In order to do so, Andrea Houlihan Speech Pathologist has in place an appointment and cancellation policy. The policy enables us to better utilise available appointments for our clients.
We, like many professional services, have a cancellation policy that reflects the time that the clinician sets aside for your appointment. We also generally run waiting lists, so if we are given reasonable notice then we can offer another client a time that is suitable.
Making an Appointment
Appointments can be made via phone or email. You will receive email/text notifications for initial appointments and text/email confirmation for all subsequent appointments. We require you confirm appointments in response to our reminders in a timely manner. Regular clients are prioritized to keep the same weekly/fortnightly appointment slot wherever possible.
Cancellation of an Appointment
If it is necessary to cancel your scheduled appointment we require that you call us 48 hours prior to your appointment time. Consistent with NDIS policy, cancellations of NDIS sessions with less than 24 hours notice, the NDIS cancellation fee will apply (90% of session fee charged against your plan).
Cancellations due to illness
In the event of unexpected ill health, we request that you call the office by 8am and leave a message to notify us of this. We acknowledge that children are more likely to get sick and have allowed for this in the way we have structured our policy. As such, we will waive the first cancellation due to sickness per term per child. Subsequent cancellations due to ill health will be charged at 50% of the standard consultation fee. We of course understand that from time to time an urgent or unpredictable event such as illness or a family situation may make it impossible to cancel your appointment two days prior and in these rare instances as much notice as you can provide is appreciated. In these circumstances we would consider the cancellation to be an exception to the no show policy. If however late cancellations became a pattern we will discuss this with you in order to ensure access to therapy for all.
Cancellations due to parent work commitments
We understand that some parents have variable work schedules such as shift work. This can make bringing your child to their regular Speech Pathology session challenging. Regular attendance is important for both your child's progress and successful management of our business and our waiting list. On occasions where your ability to bring your child to their session is affected by work commitments, we encourage parents to look into alternative options such as having their child attend their session with a grandparent or friend. We encourage parents to keep close track of their roster and provide extensive notice of any changes required to your regular scheduled appointments. We acknowledge that work commitments cannot always be anticipated and have allowed for this in the way we have structured our policy. As such, we will waive the first cancellation due to work per year per child. Subsequent cancellations due to work will be charged at 50% of the standard consultation fee. If however cancellations due to work became a pattern we will discuss this with you in order to ensure access to therapy for all.
Late cancellations will be considered as a no show.
No Show Policy
A no show is someone who misses an appointment without providing notice. No-shows inconvenience other individuals who require speech therapy services in a timely manner. A failure to present at the time of a scheduled appointment will be recorded in the client’s notes as a no show. The first no show will be billed to the family at 50% of the scheduled therapy fee. However, subsequent / repeated no shows will be billed to the family at 100% of the scheduled therapy fee. Multiple no shows may have to result in the temporary suspension of services.
Travel to schools, nursing homes, child care centres, kindergartens or client homes located outside the Healesville township, will incur a travel fee in addition to our therapy session fee. We will discuss this with you at the time of your booking. For NDIS clients, specific travel fees apply, consistent with NDIS Price Guides.
Privacy and Health Information Collection
Andrea Houlihan, Speech Pathologist, is an independent practice under the ownership of Andrea Houlihan.
You may contact Andrea Houlihan by writing to Andrea Houlihan 1 Stanley Rd., Healesville 3777, by emailing or by calling 0417 035 016. You have the right to gain access to the information held by Andrea Houlihan about you.
Andrea Houlihan needs to collect information about you for the primary purpose of providing quality treatment. In order to fully assess, diagnose and treat you, we need to collect some personal information from you. This information will also be used for the administrative purposes of running the practice such as billing you or through an insurer or compensation agency. Information will be used within the practice for handover when another speech pathologist will be providing you with ongoing assistance.
Andrea Houlihan may disclose information regarding diagnosis or treatment to your Doctor or other treatment providers only with your consent. In the case of insurance or compensation claims, it may be necessary to disclose information and/or collect information that affects your treatment and return to work.
Andrea Houlihan will not disclose your information to commercial companies, however specific service or product information as deemed suitable for your speech pathology management, may be forwarded to you by us, unless you instruct Andrea Houlihan not to forward this type of information. Your written consent will obtained at the start of your treatment in order to carry out the above activities.
Information at Andrea Houlihan Speech Pathologist is stored securely and only practice staff have access to it. Andrea Houlihan takes all reasonable steps to ensure that information collected about you is accurate, complete and up to date.
You may have access to your information on request and if you believe that any of the information is inaccurate we may be able to amend it accordingly. If you do not provide relevant personal or health information, in part or in full, to Andrea Houlihan it may result in incomplete assessment. This may impact on the diagnosis and the following therapy that is provided. Any concerns that you may have about this policy or about your management can be directed to Andrea Houlihan, 1 Stanley Rd., Healesville 3777.
Speech Pathology Australia Code of Ethics
It is fundamental to the professional responsibilities of speech pathologists that we observe the highest standards of integrity and ethical practice. You can read the Speech Pathology Australia Code of Conduct here.
National Code of Conduct and complaints
You should expect safe and ethical healthcare from every health service you use. That’s why there is a Code of Conduct for general health services like this one. You can read the code here.
If you are not satisfied with our service, please contact us. We take complaints seriously and aim to resolve them quickly and fairly.
If you remain dissatisfied with our response, you may contact the Health Complaints Commissioner (HCC). The HCC responds to complaints about health services and the handling of health information in Victoria. Their service is free, confidential and impartial. To lodge a complaint with the HCC:
Fill out a complaint form online at hcc.vic.gov.au or
Phone 1300 582 113 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday to discuss your complaint.