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This entitles you to the same rebates offered through a GP’s Better Access Plan.
How to obtain a letter of referral:
Make an appointment with your paediatrician or child psychiatrist. Mention to the receptionist that you will be asking the specialist for a referral to access psychological services. The person for whom the plan is being initiated will need to be present at the appointment. A copy of the referral letter must be brought with you to your first appointment at Minds & Hearts. Specific details will then appear on the receipt.
It can be helpful, during the initial visit to your referring doctor for him/her to specify both individual and group therapy in case of need. Medicare rebates range between $80 and $120 per hour for individual sessions and between $20 and $30 per hour for group sessions. Please note: Once you have spent a certain amount on medical expenses you have reached the Medicare safety net and Medicare will pay for 80% of your out of pocket expenses.
How to use your letter of referral:
A letter of referral from a psychiatrist or paediatrician will enable you to claim a partial rebate on 6 sessions initially. Sometimes a further 4 visits will be necessary. If this is the case, your psychologist will discuss this with you at your 5th visit and ask you to make another appointment with your referring doctor to seek his or her continued support. Your psychologist will then write a report to your referring doctor, outlining the progress of therapy and requesting a further 4 sessions. IMPORTANT: A Medicare rebate for a further 4 sessions is only possible with agreement from your referring doctor.
How the Process Works:
1. Appointment with referring doctor where a letter of referral is created
2. Six sessions with psychologist at Minds & Hearts
3. Appointment with referring doctor to review progress & assess need for further sessions
4. If doctor agrees four further sessions with psychologist at Minds & Hearts
If your letter of referral specifies individual therapy only, you will need to revisit your paediatrician or child psychiatrist to have the referral amended so you can claim a partial rebate for group therapy. Individuals can claim a rebate on up to 10 group sessions per calendar year.
Further information on this initiative is available at www.health.gov.au or by calling Medicare Australia on 132 011.