Here are some of the most frequently asked questions. If you need further assistance please call or email.
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 followed by two years of post-graduate supervised work. 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.
Both Dr Hugh Morgan and Heidi Sumich are registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
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.
Mindcare clinicians and staff take confidentiality very seriously. However, there are some situations in which confidentiality may be broken without your consent. Examples might be, 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.
The first appointment is aimed at developing an understanding of what is troubling you at present, how these difficulties have developed, what you want to gain from seeking care, and how you might achieve the gains you seek. You will be asked about your current symptoms and experiences, your life history, and prior treatment you may have already received.
We would aim to clarify your current diagnosis so that you can work towards a better understanding of why you feel the way you do, and how you might manage things more effectively.
Sometimes this initial assessment may take more than one session. It is a collaborative process where both parties are working hard at helping you get better.
If you have not already uploaded your referral into our Patient Portal (coming soon), or sent it to us via email or fax, you will need to supply it on the day of your first appointment if you wish to claim a Medicare rebate.
Additionally, please ensure you have your Medicare card details, any previous medical reports or letters, or school reports in the case of ADHD assessments, that you think might be useful for your clinician to read.
Yes we do. The majority of our consultations are currently conducted via video or telephone to help reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 and due to people’s preference for the convenience it offers.
Medicare is now allowing Medicare rebates for Telehealth (video and telephone consultations), currently expiring on March 21, 2021 but we are hoping it will be extended permanently due to the flexibility and increased access it offers.
This means you are able to have your initial and follow-up appointments conducted via video or telephone from the privacy of your home without requiring a face-to-face appointment.
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.
We regret that this is necessary, but it has proven to be a successful way of reducing the likelihood of people booking a long consultation and failing to turn up on the day. Such experiences prevent others from getting much needed appointments.
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.
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 psychologists:
Referrals to psychologists may be obtained from a GP, a psychiatrist or paediatrician. A psychiatrist or paediatrician simply writes a standard referral letter as they normally do. A GP needs to create a Mental Health Treatment Plan and provide a copy of the plan, or a referral letter indicating that a plan has been created.
For both types of referrals, a review will be required after a specified number of sessions (usually 6) at which time you may be eligible for an additional 4 sessions. You can receive a maximum of 10 Medicare-rebated psychology sessions per calendar year.
People are able to access up to 40 Medicare rebates per year for treatment of eating disorders. Treatment of eating disorders requires a particular skill set and Heidi regrets to advise that she does not have significant expertise in this area so does not accept Medicare referrals for treatment of eating disorders.
Referrals to psychologists: A referral from a GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician expires when all the sessions have been used up.