Frequently asked questions about Remote Psych

How much does a counselling session cost?

A 50 minute counselling session with a registered psychologist at Remote Psych costs $120. Of this $86.15 is paid back to you by Medicare if you are eligible for the Better Access Telehealth initiative for rural and remote clients. This leaves a gap payment of $33.85.

Am I eligible for Medicare to pay (rebate) part of the cost?

If you reside in Australia in Areas 4-7 as designated by the Modified Monash Model, are eligible for Medicare, have a current Mental Health Care Plan, are not currently in hospital and are located at least 15 km from your treating health practitioner then you would be eligible for the rebate.

Do I need to pay the full fee or just the gap portion?

While we can claim directly from Medicare for the amount to be reimbursed to you, unfortunately the entire fee needs to paid by you following the consultation. From the time we lodge the claim with Medicare for you (at time of payment) it takes 2-3 days for the amount of $86.15 to be paid back to you by Medicare.

Do I need a Mental Health Care Plan to receive counselling through Remote Psych?

No, you don’t. Some clients prefer not to see their GP to get a Mental Health Care Plan. The only difference is that you contact us directly, there is no reporting requirements to your referring GP and you would be paying the full session cost (no rebate available).

Will my computer / tablet / phone / internet connection be suitable for videoconferencing?

The general response to this common question is that most likely yes you will be able to videoconference. This is something we sort out at the intake contact, well before you videoconference with your psychologist.

The platform used for videoconferencing has a low bandwidth to accomodate areas with poor internet connectivity and to reduce risk of drop out.

Of note we need to have both audio and visual connection to meet the requirements of the Better Access program. That is, we can’t just talk over the phone!

Which software do you use for videoconferencing and is it secure?

Zoom is the software that is used by Remote Psych (and many Australian health care providers). The data is encrypted and operates on a low bandwidth making it suitable for use in regional and remote areas with varying internet reliability and speeds.

Is there a cost to me for software or data use with the videoconferencing?

There is no software cost to you. A unique link to your clinicians Zoom Room will be emailed to you for access to your sessions. The data usage for a 50 minute video conference is usually between 50-75MB.

What if I want to talk with my psychologist between sessions?

Our psychologists are generally happy to respond to emails within their working hours. We have a policy of response within 24 hours. Alternatively leave a message with our friendly admin staff for your clinician to contact you.

I’m feeling at risk and overwhelmed now. What can I do?

Remote Psych is not a crisis service. If you are an existing client you will have a Crisis Support Plan in place which will guide you in who can immediately support you.

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis please refer to the crisis support numbers for immediate support.

Do you have session times out of usual business hours?

Yes we do. This is dependent on individual clinicians but will be discussed with you at the intake contact when we establish what times you are available.

What if I don’t connect with the psychologist I’m seeing… can I change therapists?

Absolutely. We recognise that sometimes we don't click with a clinician (this occurs with all types of health clinicians).

We make it clear at the intake contact that if this occurs you can speak with the intake team or your clinician about this.

This process is about you and your mental health improvement, so if its not working let's change it.

What happens when I’ve reached 10 sessions for the year?

The simple answer is that you may continue (with an increased cost without the rebate to yourself). The focus of our sessions are to address the immediate issues which are resulting in the distress you’re experiencing.

We aim for episodes of counselling more so than ongoing contact (though this does occur for some clients).

I don’t want anyone to know that I’m getting counselling!

Your confidentiality and privacy are important. At the initial contact your preferences for communication will be discussed so that this risk is minimised.

Information will not be provided to family or employers (if requested) without your knowledge and permission.

Do you have psychologists that specialise in talking with young people?

Yes we do! One of our clinicians has spent a number of years working with young people, which together with her rural and nursing background make her well placed to talk with. Speak to us about any confidentiality issues which you may have.