Frequently asked questions about Remote Psych

How much does a counselling session cost?

The cost of a 50 minute counselling session with a psychologist varies from $0 (bulk-billed) to $185 (full fee paying).

Mental Health Care Plan holders will receive a Medicare rebate, paid into their bank account. The upfront cost before the rebate is $144-$185 (depending on your clinician), with a gap fee of $57 after the rebate.
The full fee is payable initially, with Medicare rebating directly to you. Medicare online claiming is available at Remote Psych and we can arrange your rebate payment if your account details are lodged with Medicare.

Remote Psych will bulk-bill people receiving psychology services under the Medicare Bushfire Recovery initiative. There will be no cost to you.

Healthcare Card holders are also bulk-billed.

Are sessions bulk-billed for bushfire-affected individuals, families and emergency response personnel?

Yes. There is no out of pocket expense for people impacted by the recent bushfires.

Am I eligible for a Medicare rebate?

Better Access rebate – 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.

Medicare Bushfire Recovery rebate – Bushfire-affected individuals, families and emergency response personnel are eligible for up to 10 sessions per year in 2020 and 2021. These sessions will be bulk-billed.

Is there any out of pocket expense?

If sessions are bulk-billed, there is no out of pocket expense.

For all other sessions, the full fee is payable initially following the consultation, with Medicare rebating directly to you. From the time we lodge the claim with Medicare (at time of payment) it takes around 1-3 days for the rebate to be received in your account.

What are the payment options for overseas clients?

Payment using PayPal is available for overseas money transfers.

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).

You do not need a Mental Health Care Plan or GP referral to access the Medicare Bushfire Recovery rebate.

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.