How Remote Psych works
Remote Psych provide all sessions with your psychologist via telehealth (video link). This occurs via Zoom video conferencing on your computer / laptop / tablet or smartphone. Zoom allows for your clinician to share documents with you, use the interactive whiteboard and other technology which connects you both despite being in different locations.
Sessions are around 50 minutes in duration and are essentially the same as face-to-face therapy sessions.
Better Access Telehealth Initiative – Under the Australian Government Better Access Telehealth Initiative rural, regional and remote clients can receive up to 10 Medicare rebated sessions per calendar year. This rebate requires a Mental Health Care Plan from a GP and that you are located in a telehealth eligible area.
Medicare Bushfire Recovery Telehealth Initiative – People affected by the Australian Bushfires are eligible for Medicare rebates under the Medicare Bushfire Recovery Telehealth Initiative (up to 10 sessions a year in 2020 & 2021). Remote Psych will bulk-bill these clients and there will be no out of pocket expense incurred.
Note that if accessing Medicare rebated sessions, it is common for not all 10 counselling sessions to be required. For some clients, they have resolution or change with the presenting issues in around four sessions, for others it is a longer process. Every person, situation and experience is unique.
Overseas clients – Living overseas it can be hard to access affordable psychology sessions. Telehealth is an ideal platform for connecting with an Australian psychologist and we welcome overseas clients. We are flexible with session times taking into consideration time differences between countries and utilise PAYPAL as a payment option. Unfortunately, Medicare rebates only apply to Australians receiving psychology sessions in Australia.
Fee payment is discussed during the initial intake and allocated to either fee-paying or in some instances, Medicare bulk bill.
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.
Bulk-billing occurs for clients who have been impacted by 2019/2020 Australian Bushfires and for Healthcare Card holders. No payment is required for these clients as sessions are claimed directly through Medicare.
Contact us today if you would like to have a chat about these fees.
Am I in a Telehealth eligible area?
The Modified Monash Model (Regions 4-7) are defined as Telehealth eligible. Most locations outside major metropolitan or large regional cities are telehealth eligible. To check if you are located within these regions, refer to Doctor Connect (enter address and tick Modified Monash Model box) or contact us and we’ll check for you.
What should I expect?
GP or self-referral
The first point of reference is often your GP who will refer you to Remote Psych for counselling. You are also most welcome to refer yourself and speak to us directly. If seeking the Better Access Telehealth Initiative (Medicare) you do require a Mental Health Care Plan from your GP.
Medicare Bushfire Recovery Initiative does not require a mental health care plan or referral from a GP. Please contact us directly and we shall assist you.
You will be contacted shortly after the referral is received by a member of our team (or at the time of you making direct contact) to set up an intake appointment. This intake ‘contact’ is to answer questions that you will likely have and for us to get some additional information about you and to provide you with information. The intake contact is at no cost to you and takes around 10-15 minutes. During this time if you are wishing to engage with the service we will ensure you have a suitable device to be videoconferencing with and assist you (if necessary) to download the Zoom app that will be used for sessions. At this time (or before the first counselling session) we will do a test run with Zoom to ensure that you are comfortable with the process (and that it works in your location!)
First and subsequent appointments
Your first appointment with your psychologist is usually about getting to know you and what it is that you are seeking help with. It is usual for the first 2-3 appointments to be weekly with others then spaced 1-3 weeks apart depending on your need (as decided between you and your clinician).
If receiving Better Access rebates (through a Mental Health Care Plan) there are reporting requirements to your GP. After your sixth (and / or final) appointment a brief report will be sent to your referring GP outlining the treatment undertaken, progress and any ongoing needs together with recommendation of how these needs can be met.
There are no reporting requirements to your GP if not claiming rebates through a Mental Health Care Plan.