Can I get a Medicare rebate?
Since November 2006, psychology services have attracted a Medicare payment. In order to access this payment a mental health care plan must be completed by a GP, Psychiatrist or Paediatrician. This plan allows you to receive Medicare rebates for six sessions. After six sessions the referring doctor must complete a review. In exceptional circumstances, they can request an additional four sessions to be rebated through Medicare. Due to recent Federal budget changes, sessions are capped at ten visits per calendar year. However, a new referral can be considered for the next calendar year.
Confidentiality and limits to confidentiality
Anything you say to a psychologist is confidential, and there are strict penalties for psychologists found to have breached this duty. However, this confidentiality is not absolute, and there are a number of specific situations in which confidentiality can be breached by the psychologist. These include:
- Immediate threat of harm to self or others.
- Court Subpoena
- Insurance companies can request information regarding your treatment, this information will only be provided with your written consent.
- Supervision / Second opinion – Under national law, registered psychologists are required to seek supervision from a colleague approximately once a month to discuss their practice. It is possible that some aspects of your treatment will be discussed with another psychologist.
Peer reviews – how secure is my information?
In line with our code of confidentiality, the same is true of our peer review system. At Benchmark Psychology, the progress of all clients is monitored through the data that is collected routinely. When a client is not improving, the treating psychologist is encouraged to seek a second opinion. The psychologist offering the second opinion is also bound by the same duty of confidentiality as your treating psychologist.
In some states of Australia, all psychologists in private practice have a duty to report cases of child abuse or neglect. It is important to note that in Queensland, psychologists in private practice DO NOT have a duty to report these issues, although psychologists employed in the education and health system MAY be required to report, depending on the specifics of their terms of employment. This does not mean that private practicing psychologists never make notifications. However, it does mean that a psychologist in private practice can choose whether or not to notify based on a range of relevant factors. These decisions are always difficult, and are never taken lightly. All registered health professionals do have a duty to report any other registered health professional who is practicing in a way that is likely to place the public at risk. For more information visit:
Benchmark Psychology charges $180.00 per session with a Clinical Psychologist, or $120.00 per session with a Psychologist. Typically, session durations are usually between 50 and 60 minutes.
If a relevant mental health care plan is in place Medicare will rebate $124.50 for a Clinical Psychologist and $84.80 for a Psychologist. For clients who have high healthcare costs annually, you should be aware that the out of pocket gap counts toward the Medicare safety net.
We are able to offer Medicare easyclaims, meaning that this rebate will be directed into your account on the day of your session. Medicare usually makes these transfers immediately, but they can take up to 48hrs to be processed by your bank.
What is average program length for therapy?
This is a difficult question to answer. As a rough rule of thumb, the longer the problem has been present the longer therapy tends to take. People who have only recently begun to experience psychological distress typically make rapid recoveries in therapy. People with long-term histories of psychological problems often have more complex difficulties and require longer-term therapy in order to achieve their goals.
Research suggests that around 60 per cent of clients will improve reliably within seven sessions. 75% of people are expected to improve in 25 sessions. For more information visit:
Do I need a referral?
No. Anyone can seek treatment from a clinical psychologist. However, a valid referral from a GP paediatrician or psychiatrist is needed if you would like to receive a Medicare rebate.
I am on medication. How does that affect therapy?
Clinical psychologists specialise in the treatment of people with diagnosable psychological disorders. This means that it is commonplace for our clients to have been prescribed medications. Your psychologist should be familiar with your drugs and how they affect you. However, we are not medical doctors and therefore cannot give advice regarding medications. There are rare examples of where a particular drug may cause problems from psychological therapy, and in these cases, your psychologist will liaise with your GP / psychiatrist to determine the best course of action.