NEWS CENTRE

Better access to psychologists through Medicare


Sister Bernadette Marks (Local Communications Facilitator, Adelaide) is alerting sisters to information about additional benefits recently made available through the Medicare Benefits Schedule. This information may be helpful for you or to pass on to others you know.


 


Medicare Coverage for Psychological Services


 


From November 1, 2006, the Australian Government introduced Medicare items for psychological treatment by registered psychologists. This service provides considerable assistance to people living with a mental illness and to their families.


 


To assess these benefits, a person’s GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician must refer them to a psychologist.


 


Under the Medicare rebate, a person can only see a psychologist with a Medicare provider number upon referral from their GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician.


 


Eligible patients can generally receive up to 12 individual services in a calendar year. Their referring doctor will assess their progress after the first six sessions. Provision will exist for patients to receive additional services where exceptional circumstances arise (exceptional services will be identified by the referring doctor).





If the psychologist decides to bulk bill for people holding a Health Care Card, Pension or Concession Card then the person will not have to pay anything.


 


However, if the psychologist does not use the bulk billing method then the person would pay the difference between what the psychologist charges them and the Medicare Rebate. This will vary and the person must check this out with the psychologist before commencing their treatment.


 


A person cannot use their private health insurance ancillary cover to top up the Medicare Rebates for these services.


 


More information can be found at www.psychology.org.au and www.health.gov.au


 


Source: APS Fact Sheet 


 


From: Sister Bernadette Marks RSM (Local Communications Facilitator, Adelaide)


 


Email: bjmarks@senet.com.au