What Medicare services can be provided under the Better Access initiative?
Medicare rebates are available for up to ten individual and ten group services per calendar year to patients with an assessed mental disorder who are referred by:
- A GP managing the patient under a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan; or
- Under a referred psychiatrist assessment and management plan; or
- A psychiatrist or paediatrician.
Am I eligible for a Mental Health Treatment Plan?
Please click HERE for information regarding your eligibility or alternatively discuss this with your GP.
How many Medicare rebates am I entitled to per calendar year?
From 1 January 2013, the number of individual mental health services for which a person can receive a Medicare rebate will continue to be 10 individual services per calendar year. Following the initial course of treatment (a maximum of 6 sessions), individuals can access more sessions upon review of up to 10 per calendar year.
Please note, you may also be eligible to receive Medicare rebates for Better Access services up to the limit of 10 group services in a calendar year on top of your 10 individual services.
Click HERE for more information about your entitlements for psychological services.
How long does my Mental Health Treatment Plan last for?
Your plan lasts two years from the date of referral.
Do I need a referral to see a Psychologist?
You don't need a referral to attend for psychological services. However, your GP may decide to refer you under a Medicare Mental Health Treatment Plan which will enable you to receive a rebate for some treatments. Please click HERE for more information regarding Medicare changes from 1st November 2011.
You may claim rebates from your private health insurer. Please note, it is your responsibility to contact your private health provider regarding your eligibility to obtain rebates for our services.
Other referral types are by Employee Assistance Programs, Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) or Insurance Commission of Western Australia (ICWA).
How does a Clinical Psychologist Registrar differ from a Clinical Psychologist?
If you are seeing a Clinical Psychologist Registrar this means that they have completed a four year psychology degree, then a two year post-graduate (Masters) Degree in Clinical Psychology and are now completing one year of supervised clinical training under a senior Clinical Psychologist's guidance.
A Clinical psychologist has completed a four year psychology degree, a two year Clinical Masters degree and one year of supervised practice. They no longer require the guidance of a senior practitioner.
A Specialist Clinical Psychologist has completed a four year psychology degree, a two year Clinical Masters degree and two years of supervised practice. They no longer require the guidance of a senior practitioner.
What is the difference between a Clinical Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?
Psychiatrists are medically-qualified doctors who specialise in the study and treatment of mental health disorders. They typically approach patient care from a medical perspective and prescribe medication.
Clinical Psychologists are psychologically trained to specialise in the study and treatment of mental health disorders. They typically approach patient care from a psychological or behavioural perspective and provide treatments to people with emotional and mental health problems without the use of medication.
What happens at the end of a calendar year?
If you have a Medicare referral and have remaining sessions on your Mental Health Treatment Plan at the end of a calendar year and your referral was made within two years you can continue to access psychological services under your current plan. However, these sessions will form part of your new year allocation.
Does the client have to do anything to restart their Medicare10 sessions at the start of a new calendar year?
No, not if you have remaining sessions on your Mental Health Treatment Plan and provided that this plan is still within the two years from date of referral.
What can I expect from therapy?
Going and talking to a therapist can be overwhelming for some, if not most people. Sometimes it is hard to say the things that you are feeling because you are worried the therapist might judge you. In the first session it is likely that they will want to get some general information about you. They may ask questions about:
- How you have been feeling lately
- What has been happening in your life recently
- Your past
- How things are within your family
- Your medical history
The reason they ask you all of these questions is so they can better understand what is going on for you. You may also have to fill out a number of questionnaires that will assist your therapist to understand what the issue/s may be. It is important to be honest and try to say as much as you can so that your therapist gets a better idea of things. Therapists use many different ways to help you sort through your worries and issues. If you do not understand why you are using a certain therapy or you want to know more – then ask. Going in with an open mind and positive attitude will help you get the most possible out of your therapy.
After your first session, your therapist will probably talk to you about what you would like to do from here. They may suggest that you come back and undertake a course of therapy, they may refer you for an alternative type of treatment or they may suggest there is no reason for you to see a psychologist at all. Either way you can expect the psychologist to give you clear recommendations.
If psychological treatment/counselling is recommended then you can expect regular appointments to be scheduled, often these occur weekly at the beginning then reduce in frequency as your situation/condition improves.
Psychological treatment cannot simply occur in the hour you spend in session. For you to get the maximum benefit from therapy you need to commit to attending, engaged honestly and openly with your psychologist and follow suggestions or 'homework' given in the time between your consultations.
How long will it take to get better?
This depends on a lot of things; the type of problem or disorder, your characteristics, your history, your goals, and of course what's else is going on in your life outside of therapy. Occasionally, people may feel relief after only a single session of therapy. Meeting with therapist can give you a new perspective and help you to see situations differently. Some people will find some benefit after a few sessions, especially if they’re working on a single, well-defined problem and didn’t wait too long before seeking help. Most people require at least six to ten sessions, and often may need many more if there are multiple issues to address or if the clinical condition has been present for many years.
What about my confidentiality?
Psychological information and counselling appointments are confidential except in certain circumstances. Your information may be disclosed if you grant consent for its disclosure or if there is a risk of harm to self or others or upon subpoena.
What if I need to cancel my appointment?
MPS has a strict 24 hour cancellation policy. Cancellations at less than 24 hours notice will be charged as a % of the full session rate. If an appointment is can celled with less than 24 hours notice due to a sudden medical issue, the fee can be waived by producing a medical certificate or hospital discharge summary. This document must be issued on the date of the missed appointment.
What if I don’t feel comfortable with my therapist?
This can happen from time to time. If you feel comfortable to speak with your therapist about this it may help to address any issues that may be present and help you to move forward in your therapy. Having a therapeutic relationship with your therapist is very important and honesty in session always helps.
If you do not feel comfortable to discuss this with your psychologist then please speak with our reception staff who can schedule you an appointment with another one of our therapists. It is perfectly okay to do this, we understand that we don't always get the right match first time, and we will happily talk you about your needs and arrange an appiontment with another psychologist at the practice.
Does MPS provide anything other than counselling?
Yes MPS psychologists are involved in training, lecturing, group programs for both adults and children, staff supervision and support, professional supervision for Psychologists, Clinical Psychologist Registrars, students and trainees, critical incident debriefing, and consultancy services to private and public organisations for a wide range of policy and procedural matters.
Can I come to MPS under my EAP?
Yes. MPS is the preferred provider for many employee counselling schemes. If MPS isn’t registered with your employer you can ask your HR department to arrange your counselling services through MPS. We will be pleased to talk to you or your HR section about arranging your EAP consultations at our practice.
How often do MPS run groups?
MPS tries to host group programs throughout the year. The topics include anxiety, depression, relaxation & mindfulness meditation, parenting skills, men's Issues, mood management for children. In 2013 MPS will run more groups than usual to try compensate for the Governments reduction in Medicare's individual therapy sessions.
If you would like to register for one of MPS therapy groups then please call our friendly reception staff on (08) 9433 6559 or alternately email us. Also if you have a group of friends who are interested in the same topic our psychologist would be happy to tailor a specific group for your needs.