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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: [What is psychology? What is psychiatry? What is psychotherapy?]

  • Psychology - See the Information for Clients fact sheet produced by the Australian Psychological Society.
  • Psychiatry - See the booklet produced by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrist that explains what is a psychiatrist; what is a mental illness; treatments used by psychiatrists; specialist areas of psychiatry; the differences between psychiatry and psychology; and how to contact a psychiatrist

Q: [Why undergo psychotherapy?]
A: [FAQ Answer]


Q: [How do I choose a psychotherapist?]
A: [FAQ Answer]


Q: [How does the doctor choose to which psychologist or psychiatrist they will refer the patient?]

A: The General Practitioner (GP) is a doctor who provides ongoing general health care. The GP refers the patient to the psychiatrist. The GP has access to a list of psychiatrists in private practice.

If you know the name of the psychiatrist you want to see, you can tell your doctor who will refer you accordingly.

Q: [What are the fees?]

A:

Refugees, asylum seekers and other patients with special circumstances are bulk billed.

The usual items that will apply are Item 306 for individual sessions of 45 or more minutes duration.

  • This year, the fee charged for Item 306 is $380. There will be a small increase on 1 November in line with the Australian Medical Association recommended fee. While you have no Medicare safety net (as applies to everyone from 1 January each year), you would be out of pocket by approximately $200 for each appointment. However, the Medicare safety net begins and after a couple of months of therapy, you should get back at least 80 per cent of the fee, in other words, approximately $330, leaving you out of pocket by approximately $40 per session. [these figures are indicative and will be updated after November 2016]

Some patients are treated in group psychotherapy, for which Item 342 applies.

  • This year, the fee charged for Item 342 is $155. While you have no Medicare safety net (as applies to everyone from 1 January each year), you would be out of pocket by approximately $110 for each appointment. However, the Medicare safety net would begin after a couple of months of therapy, and you should get back at least 80 per cent of the fee, leaving you out of pocket by approximately $20 per session. [these figures are indicative and will be updated after November 2016]

Other Items apply for family and group therapy, consultations at home and other locations, and initial assessments.

You can search the Medicare Benefits Schedule on line.

Once you reach the relevant threshold, the Medicare Safety Net may provide a higher Medicare benefit for all eligible services for the rest of the calendar year. For more information, see Safety Net.

Psychotherapy is a commitment by the patient to their own treatment, and by the therapist to the patient. Cancelled appointments will be charged.