09-11-2018 08:33 PM
Thank you @Mazarita for your input.
It is interesting to know of bull-billing Psychologists - I thought it was only the GPs that are allowed to bulk-bill, at least that's what I've found. I live in QLD, so there may be slightly differing rules for medicare/bulk-billing practices to where you are, but I will have a lot into it. I may have to go further afield, but I might be in luck if I can find a bulk-billing Psychologist/counsellor.
Same here, I find emailling easier than calling, as I can get my thoughts down into writing better than speaking. I actually did the referral thing with my current GP, but I made a big mistake in the research department. I had found online a nice-looking Psychologist clinic up in the city that does trauma counselling and assessments, but they were quite expensive. But still I wanted to try, so I got a referral before ringing up the clinic. When I rang the clinic up, they informed me of a $45 initial booking fee that wasn't stated on their website, on top of the $214 consult fee. This really peeved me (dishonesty, hidden charges), and never went through with the booking.
09-11-2018 09:25 PM
Hi @EternalFlame, what you say is true about psychologists and bulk billing - when we access their services privately without any Medicare subsidy.
However, there is a Medicare subsidised scheme called the 'Better Access Initiative', under which we can access up to 10 psychology sessions per year. To access this, we need a GP referral to the psychologist with a 'Mental Health Care Plan' that the GP prepares for us too (preferably in discussion with us about our needs).
The bulk billing I was referring to that psychologists can do, is for the 'gap' between the Medicare subsidy under the 'Mental Health Care Plan', and whatever fee the psychologist chooses to charge. Some psychologists are willing to 'bulk bill' this difference. Under these circumstances there should be no up-front costs to you, as the psychologist is able to bill Medicare directly for their fee under this scheme.
Having now read the guidelines on the link I added above, I see that there is a mention there of the psychologist needing to be a clinical or registered psychologist to be eligible under the 'Better Access Initiative'. I would suggest adding this to your questions when you ring or email the psychologists you are researching.
With psychiatrists, we can access their treatment for as many sessions per year as they deem to be needed, and there is always a Medicare subsidy in place for this treatment. To access this, a GP referral is also needed. They last for a year, at which time a new GP referral is required. Many psychiatrists do not bulk bill the difference between the Medicare subsidy and the fee they choose to charge. But some do. As it happens, I've never had to pay a gap fee for psychiatric treatment over 30 years of regular treatment for bipolar 1.
These conditions apply to all Australians, no matter what state. I am in Queensland too.
Hope this is not too confusing, and is helpful to you.
09-11-2018 10:07 PM
@EternalFlame. When I needed to find a psychologist that used EMDR therapy - I google. I looked up EMDR & I also looked up psychologists in my states.
You could try typing in Trauma Therapists or other similar words.
I hope you can find a good one soon.
09-11-2018 10:53 PM
Hi @EternalFlame Good to see you back, but sorry for the reasons why ...
I cant add anything to what you have already done or the others have suggested, except to say, calmly stick with "your right" to get proper services. The Gp is usually first port of call and if they are any good should get the ball rolling for you. If the ball does not start rolling, then go to another.
When I reflect on the difficulties I had getting any care, it is shocking.
Research can be part of the answer, but only really part, as I have spent weeks researching for my son and I and it was all for nothing, if the services were NOT LISTENING.
That said, I hope they do LISTEN.
Gggrrrrr re Centrelink .....
You gotta do the paperwork, but try not to stress when its actually somebody else's job.
10-11-2018 04:55 PM
@Mazarita cool, thanks for the link.
I'll print the info off and show the GP the next time I see them and see what they say about it.
11-11-2018 05:23 PM
Hi @EternalFlame .... 🖐
Like @Zoe7 I don't feel I have any advice to offer you ..... you are in much better hands from others here with lived experience in this direction, but I am glad to see you back, and glad to hear that you have been able to move away from people in your life who are not supportive and caring of you, when that is what you need. You now have more space in your life to add positive relationships instead. The others can work at sorting themselves out without you needing to wear their behaviour when you need to concentrate on your own well-being.
You go girl 💕
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