Medicare – Rebates for Psychology Services
The maximum number of Psychology sessions allowed by Medicare in a calendar year (from January to December) under the Better Access Program is 10.
To qualify for Medicare rebates for psychology consultations, you need to be referred by your doctor with a Mental Health Treatment Plan and a referral letter. When booking an appointment with your doctor, advise the receptionist of the purpose of the consultation – to be referred to a Psychologist and to have a Mental Health Treatment Plan prepared. Request a longer appointment when making the booking, as the preparation of a Treatment Plan can be a lengthy process and take anywhere between ½ hour to one hour to complete.
Your doctor can refer you to a psychologist initially for either five or six psychology sessions. At the conclusion of these sessions you need to return to see your doctor for a review and a new referral letter. The psychologist provides the doctor with written feedback for the purposes of the review. If further sessions are needed, your doctor then writes a new referral letter for either an additional four or five sessions.
Once the Treatment Plan has been finalised by your doctor, and you have a referral letter, you can then contact me (Penny Janis) to make an appointment. The cost of preparing the Treatment Plan needs to have been billed to Medicare by the doctor prior to the commencement of any psychology consultations in order for a Medicare rebate to be claimed.
Under the Better Access Program, a private psychiatrist can also refer clients for psychological treatment. Unlike doctors, psychiatrists do not need to prepare a Mental Health Treatment Plan and can refer directly to a private psychologist. All that is required is a referral letter from the psychiatrist.