Types of psychologist referrals in the Shoalhaven
Mental Health Care Plans
The most common type of referral to our practice is the Mental Health Care Plan. A care plan is completed with your GP and gives you access to an initial six individual sessions and ten group sessions. After completing six individual sessions a re-referral from your GP is required to access a further four sessions (you are able to use ten individual and ten group sessions per calendar year).
With a MHCP you can claim a Medicare rebate towards the consultation fee. You will need to bring your plan and Medicare card to the first consultation. Payment is required at the appointment and Medicare claims can be processed on your behalf.
Helping Children with Autism
Children under investigation for a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) may be eligible to claim a rebate from Medicare for assessment and counselling intervention.
A specialist referral is required under this initiative. The referral must be obtained by the child’s thirteenth birthday and be from an eligible Paediatrician or Psychiatrist.
With this referral a child is entitled to four assessment sessions and 20 consultations (per an individual’s lifetime, up to the age of 15 years).
Better Start for Children with Disability Program
To be eligible to register for Better Start early intervention funding, a child must be registered before the age of six, be an Australian resident, and have a confirmed diagnosis of one of the following disabilities: moderate or greater vision or hearing impairments, down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, or cerebral palsy. Funding of up to $12,000 may be available (up to a maximum of $6,000 per financial year).
Better Start funding can be used to pay for services provided by psychologists, speech pathologists, audiologists, occupational therapists, orthoptists, and physiotherapists. Families will have until the child’s seventh birthday to access the early intervention funding. To register your child for the Better Start initiative, please call the Carers Australia Registration Information Service on 1800 242 636.
As the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is rolled out across Australia, children supported through HCWA or Better Start will transition to the NDIS.
National Disability Insurance Scheme
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the new way of providing support for Australians with disability, their families and carers.
If you have a plan manager or you are self-managed, psychologists at Shoalhaven Psychology are able to provide support and care under these arrangements.
Clients may present privately with no referral to access counselling, intervention, and assessments at Shoalhaven Psychology Services.
There is no limit to the number of sessions if you choose this option. However, Medicare rebate items will not be available.
Private Health Insurance
Some health funds will provide benefits towards psychology services and counselling. Your health fund will pay a set benefit or percentage of the cost of the service, and you pay the rest.
The waiting periods, benefits and limits to claiming vary from fund to fund. For more information, you can review policies on www.privatehealth.gov.au or contact health funds directly.
Rebates from Medicare and private health care cover cannot be claimed concurrently. For example, you may choose to use 10 sessions under a MHCP and then claim for further sessions under you private health care cover.
Employee Assistance Programs
Often workplaces offer employees and their immediate family members access to a psychologist with no cost to you. Sessions are limited and vary from each EAP provider. Shoalhaven Psychology is registered with all major EAP providers in the area.
iCare (formerly known as WorkCover)
Shoalhaven Psychology has registered iCare (formerly known as Workcover) provider psychologists. If you have an iCare (formerly WorkCover) claim, and it is recommended that you receive psychological therapy as part of your rehabilitation package, there is no out-of-pocket expense for therapy.
VVCS/DVA and Australian Defence Force
Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling provides and funds free, confidential counselling, group programs and peer support to anyone who is currently serving, or has served at least one day in the Navy, Army or Air Force, and their families.
To discuss your eligibility and referral options, please contact Open Arms Client Assist on 1800 011 046.
Psychology services are now covered by Medicare telehealth rebates. If you live in a rural or remote community you may be eligible to access counselling online with a Mental Health Care Plan. Please discuss with your GP when you arrange an appointment for a referral. You will be required to have one of the first four sessions face to face and two of the following six sessions.
Shoalhaven Psychology provides other services that may incur additional costs. These include:
- Preparation of letters or reports (not including those already provided within the assessment fee/process)
- Offsite face to face visits to schools/preschools
- Phone calls and teleconferences with Teachers or Work Cover Case Managers
- Case Conference meetings for Out Of Home Care
- Preparation of case notes for court hearings
To set the stage we spent our three day yearly retreat together in sharing, reflection and appreciation. At each of our retreats we start with reflection on our values- are they still relevant, are they a part of our clients journey and do we refer to them enough? Are there values we need to spend more time bringing into the company?
I spend much of my time at work speaking with clients about their experiences of trauma. These are often deeply personal conversations which involve vulnerability and working through what can be confronting core beliefs and experiences.
Often as a therapist, your work life and personal life collide with similar themes. For me, the spotlight recently shone on all things parenting and baby related.