Information regarding psychologist fees, rebates, how the mental health care plan works, requirements of a referral letter to psychologist, appointment booking process, cancellation and other policies.
Process for bookings with psychologist in Hawthorn : you can request an appointment with Bita by using the confidential request form. You can volunteer to obtain a formal referral after we have confirmed an appointment time.
Communication and enquiries
All electronic data and other will be handled according to the Australian government regulations, business Victoria and best practice guidelines for private practice psychologists in Australia.
I am unable to respond to text messages or discuss private and sensitive patient information using text or email due to privacy and confidentiality laws. The best and easiest way to reach me is to request a confidential appointment by using the secured appointment form, and say a few words about your problem or request.
I do not charge overheads such as costs usually associated with using a receptionist, which keep fees lower. This means that all communication is directly with myself, and enquiries are managed by following APS best practice guidelines (such as informed consent processes). It is expected that any enquiry, request or question regarding your treatment, appointment, or administrative matters are brought with you to your booked session time.
Please note, the mobile number on this website is for existing patients. All enquiries relating to a new or discharged patient must follow the process of filling out the secured intake form on this website. Thank you.
Fees are payable at the time of consultation in cash or by card (a processing surcharge applies) or you can pay by bank transfer prior to your appointment. You do not need a GP referral to see me. You do not need to be diagnosed to access psychological support. Please note that without a valid Medicare referral from a GP, Medicare does not give a rebate. However, most private health funds do give rebates. Patients claim rebates directly with Medicare or their health fund using the receipts that I issue weekly.
Medicare does not cover the full cost of psychologist fees in private practice for mental health treatment. I have a fee schedule and I advise of the relevant fees when we confirm your booking. A rebate means that if your mental health issue meets the Medicare criteria, Medicare may pay for a portion of your treatment fees for a limited number of consults (for example Medicare does not pay for couple therapy). In order to be eligible for these rebates you must obtain a valid referral letter AND a mental health care plan from your GP. I will review your referral letter in your consultation. Please bring hard copies or email the documents to my secured email address that I provide to you during your appointment.
1. Medicare: obtain a mental health care plan
I am a Medicare provider for private psychology. Medicare rebates are optional and not everyone opts for Medicare which can require several visits to your GP. But Medicare rebates can reduce the cost and make treatments more cost effective. However, in terms of our work: my commitment is to your recovery / treatment, your well-being and safety and the clinical standards (such as risk management, relapse prevention). Therefore duration is not something that is decided by Medicare. Overall it is recommended that people consider their finances and planning for treatment in the long term. We will discuss your specific treatment needs during the consultations.
Seeing your GP and your treatment
If you want to use Medicare rebates, you must ask your GP to create a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) for you for a diagnosed mental health condition. This plan gives you up to 20 rebated treatment consultations with a psychologist (plans dated after 9.10.2020) which can reduce the cost of treatment. Previous to this date patients could only access up to 10 rebates. Medicare does not give the rebates in one go; you are required to obtain one referral and two re-referrals in one year (see point 2). Furthermore, Medicare does not get involved in treatment planning. We can discuss your questions as we learn more about your issues complexity, factors and needs.
2. Medicare: obtain a valid referral letter to psychologist
If you want to access Medicare rebates, then other than a mental health care plan, you also need to request a valid referral letter to psychologist (requirements below) from your GP. This referral letter must state your diagnosis and the number (the first referral is for 6 rebates) of approved psychologist visits (i.e., initially 6 rebates, a review, then 4, a review, and another 10 if deemed eligible as of 9.10.2020).
Valid Medicare referral letter – checklist – According to the Department of Health website, a valid Medicare referral for psychology must include the following information:
- Date of referral + doctor’s signature
- Patient’s name – correct spelling as it appears on Medicare records
- Patient’s date of birth
- Patient’s residential address
- Presenting problem /current Medicare diagnosis
- Up to date list of medications
- Number of sessions referred (maximum 6 in the first referral, then a referral for 4, then a referral for 10 if eligible)
Clinical Supervision / Secondary Consultation
I offer clinical supervision / secondary consultation to clinical colleagues who work with patients in the mental health sector. Separate consultation fees plus GST applies for this type of consultation. Please enquire directly to discuss your specific supervision needs.
Private insurance rebate
If your private medical health fund covers psychology treatment, then you are eligible for private health rebates with me. You need to check this with your private insurer and let me know so that I can give the right receipts to you.
Cancellation fee policy
All psychologists in private practice set their own fees and have a cancellation policy to facilitate the operation of their clinical services and are in accordance with the APS recommendations. It is expected that all patients accept a responsibility to attend sessions on time, reschedule or cancel within the cancellation timeframes (24 hrs Mon-Thurs 4:59 pm; changes to a Monday appointment must occur before Thursday 4:59 pm) /or pay the cancellation fee, which are discussed in the first session. Appointments are in high demand so this policy is to ensure that appointments are available for individuals who urgently need to see a psychologist. Moreover, a late cancellation means that the time cannot be given to someone else. The policy applies for any type of cancellation (e.g., not presenting, forgetting, being sick, clashing with some other appointment). The late cancellation fee is the full fee of the session.
Note: If you are sick, phone consultation may be offered at the standard consultation fees. You must request this in advance of your appointment time. Offering a phone consult is at the discretion of the psychologist only if deemed safe and clinically appropriate. Otherwise the cancellation fee policy applies.