How Remote Psych works

To provide access to psychological services for rural and remote clients, the Australian Government has introduced the Better Access Telehealth Initiative.

This initiative provides Medicare rebates for up to 10 mental health consultations via videoconferencing per calendar year. The first requirement for the rebate is assessment by your GP for your eligibility for a Mental Health Care Plan. The second main requirement is that you are located within a Telehealth eligible area at the time of the appointment.

Note that it is common for not all ten counselling sessions to be required. For some clients they have resolution or change with the presenting issues in around 4 sessions, for others it is a longer process. Every person, situation and experience is unique.


Costs

A 50 minute Telehealth consultation with a registered psychologist at Remote Psych costs $120 of which there is a medicare rebate of $86.15 (for up to 10 session per calendar year).

Cost $120.00
Rebate $86.15
Actual Cost $33.85

Am I in a Telehealth eligible area?

The Modified Monash Model (Regions 4-7) are defined as 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.

Remote Psych - Eligible Areas

What should I expect?

What to expect with Remote Psych

GP or self-referral

The first point of reference is usually your GP who will refer you to Remote Psych for counselling. You are most welcome to refer yourself and speak to us directly. If seeking the Better Access Telehealth Initiative (Medicare) rebate the next step would be to see your GP about acquiring a Mental Health Care Plan.

Intake contact

You will be contacted shortly after the referral is received by a member of our team 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 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). After your sixth (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.

GP (Mental Health Care Plan) Review

Collaboratively you and your clinician will have decided if there is benefit in continuing therapy and at this point may request from your GP an additional four sessions. Make an appointment with your GP for review of how the therapy is progressing and determine if additional sessions are required. If yes, therapy continues uninterrupted.

Sessions 7-10

Telehealth therapy continues. After the tenth session (in a calendar year) the medicare rebated sessions ceases and a letter outlining progress is sent to your GP. If wishing to continue counselling this is entirely possible the only change being that there is no rebate available therefore you incur the full consultation cost.