Do I need a referral?
To attend a psychologist you do not require a referral from your GP or another service. However, this means you pay all the fees in full and will not receive any rebates (Private health funds or Medicare).
How do I access a referral?
You make an appointment with your General Practitioner at your usual clinic and inform the admin person that you are seeking a referral or a Mental Health Care Plan as this may require a longer appointment time.
What is a Mental Health Care Plan?
A Mental Health Care Plan or Treatment Plan is written by your GP and involves a referral to a provider such as Calm Minds Psychology, and includes your medical information, and your mental health information, any medications you are taking, any goals for the psychology treatment and usually a measure of your mental health status like a DASS or K10+ which are questionnaires that your GP may ask you to complete in your appointment. Essentially with this plan it gives you access to sessions with a Psychologist that involve rebates from Medicare. Currently they are approximately $90 per session. At present they will provide rebates for 10 sessions. This may change at some stage. The first MHCP that is written by your GP entitles you to 6 sessions. Then you see the GP again (if needed) to access a review MHCP for another 4. The Psychologist also writes to your GP to provide feedback about your attendance at the sessions and how the sessions are progressing. This helps your GP decide if more sessions are needed or not.
What happens if I have a MHCP but it is written to another Psychologist?
In our experience this has not been an issue. We will let the GP know that you are now seeing Calm Minds Psychology instead of the person you were referred to in our feedback form that we write to the GP.
Can I claim on Private Health Funds?
Yes you can claim on your Private Health Funds, instead of claiming on Medicare, but you cannot make a claim on both for the one session. You can choose which you are claiming on. It is worth checking with your individual health fund to ask what the rebate would be for a Registered Psychologist. There are too many funds for Psychologists to know your private rebate available and it is dependent on your level of cover.
How Much Does it Cost to attend a Psychologist?
AAPi recommended fee is $280 for a 40-60 minute session.
This practice opened in Innisfail in 2009 and fees have only been adjusted once (in 2023).
Fees are $210 for the initial assessment (first session), and $160 for sessions thereafter for individuals.
Family therapy or Couple Counselling fees are $210 per session.
For external invoicing we have different rates for each organisation. For example Workcover we use their recommended hourly rate which changes every year. NDIS we charge $214 per hour.
How long do sessions go for?
Usually a first appointment is about an hour to an hour and 20 minutes for those on a MHCP. CTW sessions are expected to run for 50 mins. The second and subsequent MHCP sessions are generally 1 hour. CTW sessions are 50 mins.
Do you bulk bill via Medicare or provide DVA funded sessions?
Due to being a small business, there is no bulk billing. The Medicare rebate does not cover a Psychologist's time. However we do contract for a program called Connect to Wellbeing and these sessions are free if you are accepted to the program. You must have a Health Care Card and meet a criteria with a GP referral to the program.
Yes DVA funded sessions are offered for Veterans with valid gold or white cards. We also provide QAS and QFESS funded sessions as well for staff and their immediate family members. We are not currently providing any EAP or EAS services, but you are welcome to ask your employer if they would allow you to see Calm Minds Psychology, for the work cover rates.
Is there a cancellation fee if I cannot attend?
If you cancel your appointment with at least 48 hours (dependent on terms set out in making the appointment) in advance of your first appointment the cancellation fee will be waived. If you do not attend and haven't let us know, the cancellation fee applies. No further appointment will be scheduled until the fee is paid. If you have an urgent medical illness requiring attendance at a GP or hospital please get ask for a medical certificate and then the fee will be waived. If you have to isolate as a close contact of covid, have covid (or other infectious illness), or have a sick child at home we do not need to cancel as we can use telehealth to have our appointment (as long as you are well enough to talk). Just let us know the need for Telehealth and we will send you a link for telehealth a secure end to end encrypted program to safely connect with you on a telehealth video call. The cancellation fee is $110. If you are attending via an external insurance company or Workcover for instance you are responsible for paying the cancellation fee. A notification of cancellation or being unable to attend can be made by phone or text message. Please do not send an email on the day of the appointment as this may not be seen in time for the appointment. The more notice you can provide, may allow us to reschedule your appointment for you, and possibly allow us to see a person on the waiting list who hasn't been able to get an appointment that day/week and of course if you provide the minimum amount of notice then you avoid the cancellation fee.
What is telehealth?
Many clients will have experienced telehealth via video calling in essence as it is just like a video call or "facetime" with your friends or family. Only we use a program that is end to end encrypted and safe for psychology and medical professionals to use, which is part of our scheduling system called Powerdiary. You do not need to download an app or any program. You do need the latest internet program like Chrome. If you are connecting we will text you the link. You can use your phone to connect by clicking on the link. Or you can copy that link into another devise like a tablet, ipad, or laptop/computer. The bigger the screen the more like real life it will feel to you. You can wear headphones for privacy if you wish to. Try and be in a room alone, without distractions and good level of lighting so that we can see your face. Bring a glass of water with you so you can have a drink if needed. Please have the camera on and showing your face so the Psychologist can see you. If it is not a video call you are not eligible to claim a rebate on Medicare. Sometimes if the sound is echoing, we will speak using a mobile phone for sound and use your device for picture. It is usually dependent on the quality of internet at both your end and the office. Telehealth is also a great option when the roads are closed due to flooding, so we don't miss out on our scheduled appointments. Yes cancellation fees apply if you do not connect for a planned telehealth appointment.