Fees and Therapy Session
Do I need a referral to see you?
No, I can see you privately. However, if you would like to claim from Medicare Better Access Scheme, you will need a referral letter from your GP, psychiatrist, or pediatrician.
Am I eligible for Medicare Better Access?
To be eligible, you will need to be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident. Your GP will need to conduct a Mental Health Care Plan to activate the Better Access scheme.
How many rebated sessions am I entitled to under the Medicare Better Access Scheme?
Ten sessions per calendar year (Jan-Dec) are eligible for Medicare rebates. This is a decrease from 20 sessions that was introduced by the Federal Government in October 2020 in response to COVID-19's impact on mental health. Depending on your referrer, you will usually get 6 sessions initially and then 4 more under the Better Access Initiative in 2023. The rebate is $131.65 for 50min sessions. Rebate amount is the same whether you choose to use telehealth/online format or face-to-face.
What are your fees?
Initial sessions are set at $280 (1hr). Standard hourly sessions after the initial session are $260, which is below the recommended Australian Psychological Society's rate.
If I claim Medicare rebate, what will I need to bring to my first session?
You will need a letter of referral from you GP, psychiatrist or pediatrician with a request to see Dr Carol Newall for psychological evaluation and therapy. This is not the same as a Mental Health Care Plan, which is not sufficient for me - the clinical psychologist - to activate Medicare funding. Please bring your referral letter and your Mental Health Care Plan.
Can I claim private health insurance?
Yes, you can. However, you will need to take your invoice and claim it directly from your insurer. Keep in mind that you cannot claim both Medicare and private insurance for the same session. It will have to be one or the other for the session.
How do you take payment?
By credit card payment only for face to face sessions, and direct deposit or credit card payments for telehealth/Zoom. Medicare rebates are automatically processed at the clinic and the amount deposited directly into your bank account from Medicare.
How long is each session and how frequently do I need to see you?
Sessions are typically 50min to an hour. Depending on your current challenges, sessions can occur weekly, fortnightly, and sometimes, once every month when you're starting to improve
Do I need to commit to a certain number of sessions?
No, absolutely not. However, improvements tend to occur in clients who come regularly and make a commitment to work at therapy. Usually, most people require 6-15 sessions to show improvements.
What are your cancellation policies?
Cancellation incurred in the 24-48hrs prior to session will incur a 50% fee. Cancellations within the 24hr period will incur the full fee. You cannot claim Medicare rebates for cancelled appointment fees.
I'm a parent and I'm bringing my child to see you. Will there be an opportunity to speak to you alone?
Yes for children under 18 years of age. However, your child must attend the session if you are claiming Medicare on behalf of your child. We will make time to interview the parent and engage in parent-only segments during session while the child is outside in the waiting room. If you child is under 7 years of age or you think they will require supervision in the waiting room, please bring along an additional carer as there is no reception staff in the waiting room.
Is your practice wheelchair accessible?
Unfortunately, the practice location is up a flight of stairs and there is no lift access. This means that clients with mobility issues, prams, and wheelchair cannot access the clinic.
Do you take high-risk/complex clients?
I won't take clients that have the following features:
- Recent suicide risk with hospitalisations in the last 3mths
- History or current presentation of domestic violence
- History of aggression
- Child clients whose parents are in custodial disputes and have ongoing legal proceedings
This is because I'm a solo practitioner and have constraints of workload and safety.
Can you see me in an emergency situation?
Unfortunately, I cannot see you in an emergency situation as my clinic is not equip to manage high-risk situations. Please consider calling emergency 000 if you feel that you are at risk. There are also free hotline counselling services like Lifeline, Suicide Call Back Service, Mensline Australia, and 1800Respect for family counselling/domestic violence support.