HouseCall Cancellation and Refund Policy
Green Cross Health and The Doctors medical centres are passionately committed to the health and wellness of New Zealand, and to providing the best support, care and advice to our communities. All services provided to our patients attract a fee that is payable at the time of the consultation or service. Consultation fees for a HouseCall through Telehealth Consultations are payable online at the time of booking an appointment.
This policy is applicable to HouseCall, providing of Telehealth Consultations by way of online video or phone platforms. To enable full transparency for our patients during all stages of their HouseCall journey, this policy explains the dynamics surrounding the fees payable, payments made, cancellations and refunds.
- Telehealth Consultation – A phone or video consultation offered to a patient by a HouseCall Healthcare Provider
- Consultation Duration – A normal HouseCall consultation is 15 minutes allowing for maximum face-to-face time with the Healthcare Provider plus a few minutes for the Healthcare Provider to complete other tasks such as writing prescriptions or letters on patients’ behalf
- HouseCall Healthcare Providers – These include, but are not limited to Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Nurses, and Healthcare Assistants
- Consultation Charges – Fees payable online by a patient for requesting a HouseCall telehealth consultation
- Payment – Fees paid by a patient through the process of booking an appointment for a HouseCall telehealth consultation provided
- Refund – Amount of monies to be returned to the patient for failure to render a service or the cancellation of a requested service (eg cancellation of a HouseCall appointment; termination of a HouseCall within 3 minutes if decided medical care for the issue cannot be provided through a Telehealth Consultation)
- Appointment Cancellation – The cancellation of a scheduled appointment with a HouseCall Healthcare Provider, which may be done by the Patient or by the Healthcare Provider. Types of cancellations may include:
- Cooling-Off Cancellation – An appointment cancelled immediately up to 2 hours after booking it due to an error made by the patient or a change of mind
- Planned Cancellation – An appointment cancelled more than 2 hours before the scheduled appointment time
- Late Cancellation – An appointment cancelled less than 2 hours before the scheduled appointment time
- Appointment DNA (Did Not Attend) – Patient’s failure or lateness to present for a scheduled HouseCall appointment
- Rescheduling of Appointment – Change in date or time of a booked appointment to defer to a later date / time, initiated by either the patient or by the HouseCall Healthcare Provider
- Breakdown of an Appointment – An appointment that is unable to run the course of its 15 minute duration due to technical or connectivity issues
- Termination of an Appointment – An appointment that is discontinued by either the HouseCall Healthcare Provider or the patient, part way through its normal duration
Telehealth Consultation (Online) Charges
- All Telehealth Consultations provided by the various Healthcare Providers during a HouseCall will attract a fee payable by the patient.
- The fee structure of the Online Charges can and will be different to the In-Clinic and Offline Charges, due to the nature of the service.
- The fee structure of the Online charges may be reviewed and adjusted periodically.
- Appointment confirmation will only be made after the Patient has made the online payment for the service that has been requested.
- If within the first three (3) minutes of a HouseCall telehealth consultation, the Healthcare Provider feels that the patient needs to be seen in-person (face-to-face), the patient will be asked to go to the nearest facility appropriate to their care. This may include (but not limited to) the patients usual General Practitioner, Urgent Care Service or Emergency Department. The patient will be offered a full refund of the paid booking fee.
Cancellations, DNA, Rescheduling
- On booking and confirmation of an appointment, a patient may choose to cancel the appointment either immediately or at a later stage.
- The monies refundable to the patient will be dependent on the length of time between the cancellation of the appointment and the time of the scheduled appointment.
- A patient can choose to cancel an appointment immediately up to 2 hours (Cooling-Off Cancellation) after booking an appointment, and this would not attract any cancellation fees
- If a patient cancels an appointment more than 2 hours (Planned Cancellation) prior to the scheduled time, there would be no cancellation fees applicable
- Cancellations between 0 – 2 hours (Late Cancellations) prior to the scheduled time will attract a cancellation fee equivalent to the full consultation charge paid by the patient
2. DNA (Did Not Attend)
- On booking and confirmation of an appointment, a patient is expected to connect and be present for the HouseCall Telehealth Consultation session 5 minutes before the scheduled appointment time:
- If a patient fails to present for the scheduled appointment 5 minutes after the commencement of the scheduled appointment, the patient is considered not to have attended and the appointment will be cancelled as a DNA (Did Not Attend)
- If a patient fails to present for the scheduled appointment altogether, the patient is considered not to have attended and the appointment will be cancelled as a DNA (Did Not Attend)
- All DNAs will attract a cancellation fee equivalent to the full consultation charge paid by the patient
- Some DNAs which may occur due to unexpected circumstances, may qualify for a Credit of the consultation fee, which will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
- A patient can book a new appointment due to their DNA, but will have to pay the full consultation fee
3. Rescheduling and Rebooking
- On booking and confirmation of an appointment, a patient may choose to reschedule the appointment either immediately or at a later stage, due to change in circumstances
- Rescheduling of an appointment done immediately on booking an appointment will not attract any change / cancellation fee, and patient would not be expected to pay any additional fees
- Rescheduling of an appointment up until 2 hours before the scheduled appointment will not attract any change / cancellation fee, and patient would not be expected to pay any additional fees
- Rescheduling of an appointment between 0 – 2 hours prior to the scheduled appointment time will attract a Cancellation Fee equivalent to the full consultation charge paid by the patient
- Any appointment rescheduling done at the scheduled appointment time would be considered a DNA. No credit or refunds would be available to the patient.
4. Doctor Unavailable
- Sickness, personal unexpected circumstances and other unforeseen events can lead to a rostered Doctor not being available for a Scheduled Appointment Session.
- In the event a Doctor is unavailable to attend a Scheduled Appointment Session, the HouseCall Administrative Staff will:
- Contact the patients who have scheduled appointments and inform them of the change in the Doctor with the option to, either be attended to by the replacement Doctor, or to reschedule the appointment to a different day and time when the original Doctor is next available.
- If the patient is agreeable to having a replacement Doctor for their HouseCall there will be no change to the charges the patient has already paid.
- If the patient wants to reschedule the appointment to a different day and time with the original Doctor, the charges already paid by the patient will become applicable to the rescheduled appointment. There will be no additional charges applied.
- If the patient neither wants a replacement Doctor, nor to reschedule the appointment, they can choose to cancel the appointment, the fees paid by the patient will be fully refunded.
5. Breakdown and Termination of an Appointment
- In the event of an IT / connectivity / technical failure during the a HouseCall Telehealth Consultation, the Healthcare Provider will phone the patient, inform them about the technical issue and offer to reschedule the appointment at the next available time at no extra cost to the patient.
- If the patient does not want to reschedule another appointment, the current appointment will be considered as a “failed encounter” and patient would be refunded the full consultation fees
- If following a technical issue or failure there are 3 or more repeated attempts to reconnect via phone where the patient is unavailable or not responding, refund is not applicable
- The relationship between a patient and a provider could breakdown during the consultation, due to a variety of factors, including demands for controlled medications, unrealistic patient expectations or interpersonal differences. In the unlikely event of a relationship breakdown during the Telehealth Consultation, the provider will gently inform the patient of the need to terminate the consultation.
- For Terminated Consultations, fees paid by the patient may be partially or fully refunded on a case by case basis. The decision to refund the monies is at the discretion of the provider concerned and the HouseCall Management team.
Credit and Refund
- All monies that need to be refunded to the patient will be recorded by way of relevant Credit Notes associated with the appropriate refund amount.
- The refunds will be made directly into the patient's account that was linked to the Online payment gateway.
- If the patient has chosen to receive a refund, the refundable amounts are as follows:
- Cooling-Off Cancellation – Full 100% refund
- Planned Cancellation – Full 100% refund
- Doctor Unavailable Cancellation – Full 100% refund
- Failed Encounter – Full 100% refund
- Last Minute Rescheduling of Appointment – No refund
- Late Cancellation – No refund
- DNA – No refund
- Terminated Consultation – to be determined case by case