There are three ways of making an appointment. The first is through a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP), which is organised through a specialist such as a GP, psychiatrist, or pediatrician. The second is through a self-referral, made by yourself. The third is through a private health fund. It is important to know the difference, as one attracts the Medicare rebate where the others may not. Additionally, alternative funders (NDIS,VOCAT,WORKCOVER,TAC) are not able to complete MHCP, you will need to contact these organisations to understand how to process your claim to receive treatment. Contact me to review these processes further. Go to "Contact Us".
What can I expect at my first session?
Initially you will be asked to review and sign a consent form which details your rights as a client and policies of the psychological practice. The initial session will often involve several questions which the psychologist uses to understand the focus of your issue and what you would like to achieve from your treatment. Some background history may be obtained but the primary focus is on the issue troubling you now, and where possible an initial treatment plan will be discussed with you. Remember, it is perfectly normal to be anxious or nervous when seeing a psychologist and they will try and help you with your discomfort as best as they can.
Why do I need to pay a psychologist fee?
Like all specialists, psychologists are highly trained and have a unique set of skills in the area of mental health. As such, the services they provide are priced at a higher rate. The Australian Psychological Society has recommended a fee of $251 per session for psychological services, however as this is often unaffordable, for many people most psychologists offer discounted rates well below this.
What is a Mental Health Care Plan?
Medicare provides subsidised access to psychologists through a referral and Mental Health Care Plan completed either by a GP, Psychiatrist, or Mental Health Nurse. This plan provides your details, plus a description of symptoms that the psychologist can use to begin the process of understanding the nature of your mental health and what type of treatment you may benefit from.
How do I get a Mental Health Care Plan?
Your GP is able to provide you with a referral and plan so they are usually the best place to start. Contact your GP and request a double appointment, advising reception (if you are comfortable doing so) that the purpose of your visit will be to obtain a Mental Health Care Plan. This will allow your GP to set aside enough time to complete the plan and discuss it with you fully.
Can I see a psychologist without a Mental Health Care Plan?
Yes. However, without a valid plan you will not be able to access the Medicare rebate, therefore your sessions will be privately billed, leaving you to pay the entire balance of the account yourself.
How and when do I pay?
The full session payment is required on the day of your appointment. Debit and credit cards are accepted.
How do I access the Medicare Rebate?
Once you have settled your account, your rebate is lodged online immediately via our system. As long as your Mental Health Care Plan is valid, and you have not already claimed your 10 sessions of rebates that calendar year your lodgement will be accepted and funds will be in available in your nominated bank account usually within 24 hours (excluding weekends). Note: To ensure you receive your rebate, you must have a nominated bank account linked to Medicare via the mygov portal. If you haven’t registered for mygov or you need to link your Medicare claims or bank details, please do so prior to your appointment.
How do I claim back the Medicare Rebate?
In most cases we can lodge your Medicare Rebate Claim for you after the session is completed. Medicare will then take 48- 72 hours to deposit your rebate into the account you have registered with them. If you do not have a bank account registered with them, the refund will not be sent to you as Medicare no longer issues cheques. In some cases, we are unable to lodge Medicare Claims on your behalf, and you will be given a paid invoice by email that you can take to your nearest Medicare office for claiming.
Can I just pay the gap fee?
Unfortunately, no. Medicare does not allow psychologists to charge only the gap fee (difference between the full amount and the rebate amount) but require full payment up front before rebates can be processed.
What if my treatment is covered by another party e.g. Workcover/TAC/ VOCAT,NDIS?
As long as you provide the relevant documentation to your psychologist all session invoices will be sent directly to your external provider with nothing out of pocket for you on the day. Documentation required will include a letter from your insurer or relevant external provider stating your claim number and approval to access psychological services. Please ensure this document is available to you before making any bookings. If documentation is not provided you will be responsible for settlement of the session fee on that day.
How can I claim private health insurance ?
Private consultations may be claimable on your private health insurance (extras) depending on your level of cover. You would need to check this with your health fund.
If you cancel, the time is lost and except in an emergency or illness, you will be charged a fee against your nominated card. As per the Australian Psychological Societies (APS) guidelines, there is a 50% charge for cancellations between 24 - 48 hours and 100% for less than 24 hours. Note that these are not covered by the Medicare rebate. Please let me know by telephone or text, not via email, should you know in advance of a conflict in your schedule. I will try to offer you an alternate session.
The information you reveal to me during our professional relationship is kept confidential and will not be released to anyone without your written consent. As per legal requirement, these are kept for a period of 7 years and then destroyed in a secure manner. Confidential information may be released without your consent when it is subpoenaed by a court, or warrant, or when not disclosing the information may place you or others at risk of serious harm. You will be notified of such an event.
As a professional, I have regular clinical supervision. In this context, the work we are doing may sometimes be discussed. All communications between my supervisor and myself are held in the strictest of confidence and your personal details are never revealed.
I do not provide formal emergency services, yet I wish to be as available as much as is reasonably possible. You may call me at any time and leave a message and i will endeavor to return your call as soon as I am available. During business days, I can often, though not always, return calls quickly. Night time and weekend calls will usually be returned the next business day. If you find yourself in an urgent situation, make a judgment about the prudence of waiting for my call versus calling for alternative help (e.g. a local GP, emergency 000 or the Lifeline 24 hour crisis counselling line 13 11 14).
No waitlists for Psychological Assessments
-Cognitive Assessment (WISC V- Children )
-Autism and ADHD
-Adaptive Behaviour Assessments
No waitlist for psychologically therapies. Enquire now