There are a number of referral pathways to seeing a Clinical Psychologist. You can see a Clinical Psychologist as either a private client or a medicare referred client. As a private client you do not need a referral to see a Psychologist, however you will need to pay the full fee charged by the Psychologist. For additional information, please refer to the sections below.
Medicare Better Access to Mental Health Scheme
The Medicare Better Access to Mental Health Scheme provides assistance to individuals experiencing psychological difficulties including:
- Anxiety disorders
- Adjustment disorders
- Phobic disorders
- Panic disorder
- Sleep problems
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Co-occurring anxiety and depression
- Alcohol use disorders
- Drug use disorders
- Sexual disorders
- Conduct disorders
- Bereavement disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Eating disorders
- Attention deficit disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Psychotic disorders
There are some issues that Medicare does not cover through this initiative including: couples counselling, parenting, neuropsychological assessment, learning disabilities, and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (this has it’s own Medicare scheme).
If a referral is recommended through the Medicare Better Access scheme, your doctor will complete a mental health plan. This may involve a longer appointment with your doctor so that they can discuss the history of your problem(s) and to determine if you meet the criteria of the initiative. You may also discuss your goals of treatment and complete a short questionnaire. You will need to take the relevant paperwork from your doctor to the first appointment. I will provide written feedback to your GP about your treatment progress.
You may access up to 10 visits per calendar year when referred this way. Further, you may access up to 10 group sessions in a calendar year if this form of treatment is relevant for you. For more information on this Medicare initiative please refer to http://www.psychology.org.au/medicare/fact_sheet/.
Department of Veterans Affairs
Restore Psychology is a provider of psychological services to Veterans through the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). If you hold a DVA WHITE or GOLD card you are entitled to 10 sessions with a Psychologist with no personal expense. To access this service, you will require a DVA referral form from your treating doctor. For more information please contact me
Medicare Non-directive Pregnancy Support Counselling
The non-directive pregnancy support initiative is aimed at supporting women who have concerns about a current pregnancy, or a pregnancy that occurred within the preceding 12 months. Eligible women may claim Medicare benefits for up to 3 non-directive pregnancy support counselling sessions. To be eligible, a woman must be referred by her doctor or an accredited health professional. This form of counselling provides the opportunity to express and explore thoughts and feelings in order to gain a better understanding of the pregnancy-related concerns. The aim is for the woman to resolve her own concerns, rather than a solution presented by the counsellor. On request, counsellors may provide unbiased evidence-based pregnancy-related information to assist the woman. Psychologists must be fully registered with the Psychology Board of Australia and have completed mandatory training. For more information regarding this Medicare initiative please refer to The Australian Government Department of Health website
Medicare Chronic Disease Management Initiative
This referral option is for people who experience a chronic medical condition for a minimum of 6 months or more, and are being managed by their doctor for this medical problem. Common conditions may include: cancer, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, musculoskeletal or other conditions. The initiative allows for up to 5 sessions with an allied health professional with the purpose of providing assistance in the management of the medical condition. This initiative is not as commonly used by doctors for psychologists, however is at the discretion of the treating doctor.
For more information on this initiative, please refer to: http://www.psychology.org.au/medicare/chronic/clients/
Private Health Insurance
Depending on your level of insurance cover, you may be eligible to claim a rebate through your health insurance provider. Please check your eligibility before attending your first appointment. If you have used the maximum number of medicare eligible sessions per year (10), you may then consider a private health insurance rebate depending on your level of cover. Please advise me at the time of booking your appointment that you intend to claim a rebate from your private health fund.
Please note – Medicare does not allow you to claim through Medicare and your private health fund for the same session.
If you have been involved in a work related accident and sustained an injury, you may require the services of a Psychologist to promote your recovery and timely return to work. In Queensland, WorkCover may refer you to a Psychologist once your claim has been assessed and approved. The number of sessions you are eligible to receive are determined by WorkCover as your claim is being assessed. If your claim has been approved, WorkCover will cover the cost of your sessions with an approved Psychologist.
You do not require a referral to see a Psychologist as a private client. However if you wish to claim a rebate on your consultation fees from Medicare, you will require a referral from your GP, Psychiatrist or Pediatrician. If you have private health insurance, please check with your fund whether you are eligible for a rebate on your session fee prior to making a booking.