FAQ

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions. If you need further assistance please call or email.

Clinicians


A psychiatrist is a medical practitioner who has completed a medical degree at university then a five year specialist training program in psychiatry. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication, order blood tests and scans, admit patients to psychiatric hospitals, and write referrals to other specialists. Psychiatrists may choose to provide talking therapy, medication, or a combination of both treatments.

A clinical psychologist is an allied health professional who has completed six to seven years of training at university, including a postgraduate Masters or Doctoral degree in clinical psychology assessment and treatment. They have been endorsed by the Psychology Board of Australia as having higher level postgraduate qualifications and training in clinical psychology assessment and treatment of mental disorders.

A registered psychologist has completed a four-year Honours degree in Psychology, followed by 2 years of supervised psychological treatment experience. They are recognised as general psychologists by the Psychology Board of Australia.

All of our clinicians are registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Who you wish to see will depend on your presenting problem/s, as certain clinicians specialise in certain areas. Different clinicians also have different fees and availabilities, which may also influence which clinician is right for you. Finally, personal preferences (e.g. gender or age) can be an important factor for some people. If you would like to read a little about each of our clinicians to help you decide, you can visit the ‘Our Clinicians’ page (make into a hyperlink). Alternatively, our friendly reception staff can help guide you in the right direction.

Treatment


The number of sessions will depend on your presenting problems and the treatment plan you devise with your clinician. Some people find they only need a few sessions before they are able to get back on their feet whereas others may have a wider array of issues and need more continuing care over time.
The clinicians and administrative staff take confidentiality very seriously.  However, there are some situations in which confidentiality may be broken without your consent. The most likely causes of a breach of confidentiality are if you are at serious risk of harming yourself, at serious risk of causing severe harm to someone else, you tell us that a child whom we can identify is at serious risk of harm, or your notes are subpoenaed by a court of law.
You will be asked to arrive 30 minutes early to the first appointment to complete some registration and screening questionnaires. During the first appointment your clinician will obtain background information about your mental health concerns, prior treatment, and life history. From here, you and your clinician can work out a treatment plan that is best suited to your needs.
If you have not already forwarded your referral to Mindcare Centre via fax or email, you will need to bring it with you on the day of your first appointment. It will also be helpful if you bring the forms attached in the confirmation email, which you will receive after you have booked your first appointment. This email contains important forms such as ‘Getting the most out of your initial consultation’, a Privacy and Consent form, and a Credit Card Authorisation form which you may wish to fill out if you would like us to keep your credit card details on file or if someone else is paying the account on your behalf. Additionally, please ensure you bring your Medicare card with you, and any previous reports or letters that you think might be useful for your clinician to read.
Yes, most of our clinicians can offer services via Skype or telephone to people within Australia.

A Medicare rebate may be available for psychiatry teleconsultations for people who live in rural or remote areas. Unfortunately there is no Medicare rebate for these services if provided by a psychologist, although your private health fund might offer a rebate. Check with yourhealth fund to clarify.

Fees & Billing


Each clinician operates as an independent private practitioner, hence they each set their own fees with reference to the fees recommended by their professional organisations.

Mindcare Centre is not a bulk billing practice so there will be an out of pocket cost. Our staff can advise the out of pocket cost for each clinician, which will vary depending on the clinician and the length of the treatment session. We are, however, able to send claims electronically through to Medicare after you have paid your account so that the Medicare rebate can be debited promptly into your bank account (provided that you have registered your bank details with Medicare).

You may wish to speak to your GP about other treatment options if you require a service that has no out of pocket costs.

Currently none of the clinicians participate in the ATAPS program or accept Workcover, CTP, or DVA referrals.

The deposit is used as a surety in case of non-attendance on the day of consultation. The deposit goes towards the payment of the initial consultation and is completely refundable if you wish to change or cancel your appointment up until two business days before your appointment.
Medicare only offers rebates for individual treatment for a person who has a diagnosable mental illness. Medicare does not provide a rebate for any form of couples or family therapy, or for neuropsychological assessment.
Depending on your level of cover, private health funds offer rebates for psychology services but not outpatient psychiatry services. If you choose to claim a private health fund rebate for psychology services you cannot also claim a Medicare rebate for the same consultation. You have to choose one option or the other. Mindcare Centre does not offer HICAPS online processing of private health fund rebates so you would need to send your receipt to your health fund to claim the rebate.

Referrals


Yes and no. A referral serves two purposes – it provides information to the clinician about the reason for your attendance, and it enables you to claim a Medicare rebate for the services provided.

If you do not want Medicare to have a record of your attendance at a psychiatrist or psychologist, you do not care about receiving a Medicare rebate, or you are not eligible for a Medicare rebate (overseas visitors), you do not need a referral. A valid referral is essential if you want to claim a Medicare rebate.

For more information, please visit the Department of Human Services website.

Referrals to psychiatrists: Any medical practitioner can write a referral to a psychiatrist.

Referrals to psychologists: Referrals to psychologists may be obtained from either a GP or a psychiatrist. Referrals from a GP are known as a Mental Health Care Plan referral, whereas referrals from a psychiatrist are known as a Referral for CBT under the Better Access Initiative. For both types of referrals, a review will be required after a specified number of sessions (usually 6) and after every subsequent 4-6 sessions after that. You can only receive a maximum of 10 Medicare-rebated psychology sessions per calendar year regardless of how many referrals you obtain.

Referrals to psychiatrists: A referral from a GP lasts for 12 months (unless your GP indicates that the referral is “indefinite”) while a referral from any other medical specialist (e.g., a neurologist, cardiologist) is only valid for three months.

Referrals to psychologists: A referral from a GP expires when all the sessions have been used up (a maximum of six sessions per referral). However, all sessions must be used within two years. A referral from a psychiatrist is valid until all specified sessions on the referral have been used up.