Medicare covers most of your fees if you have a valid referral from your GP. Please make sure that you have a valid referral, or mental health care plan and bring them with you when you visit our professionals for the fist time.
Why there is a gap?
Medicare rebates have been frozen by the government since 1st of November 2012 and will not be increased until the 1st of July 2020. It is not possible for Mind Connections Specialists Services to meet our running costs each year without having a gap (out of pocket) fee. The Medicare rebate freeze means that this practice is no longer able to bulk bill all of our patients.
Today Medicare rebates do not cover the full cost of providing you with specialist consultant services we provide at Mind Connections. This is because the rate at which successive governments have indexed the Medicare Schedule fees has been substantially lower than increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and average weekly earnings. However wages, pensions, disability allowances have been indexed and it will continue to increase with annual indexing.
The reality is that Medicare rebates do not cover ever increasing costs of providing you with a safe, high quality, individualized specialist service. Although the consultation fees are set for the individual session, the work goes on since your initial contact with us. Our consultants and the administrative staff continue to work many more hours for you writing reports, contacting your referral base regarding your care, liaising with other agencies regarding your wellbeing and providing space for your family and loved ones. In addition, the fees charged by Mind Connections Specialists Services have to cover all of our practice costs including maintaining two modern practice locations for your easy access, employing receptionist’s staff, meeting our operating expenses such as rent, medical equipment, electricity, computers, many insurance and licensing costs, and most importantly IT services for electronic medical records.
It is no secret that totally bulk billing specialist practices compromise their services in order to generate revenue to cover the costs. Long waiting times, more patient numbers within the shortest possible time period, lack of professional time to upskill/empower patients, lack of communication with other agencies regarding your care is some of the ways they are forced to cut costs. Our staff and clinicians are committed to positive outcomes for our patients. They refused to compromise on service delivery. Every patient who comes through our door will have appointments within two weeks, treated with dignity, respect and best possible care.
We take into consideration all factors relevant to our patients and we make sure our fees are affordable. It is mainly because we are very genuine about our commitment to your care and recovery process. Our fees are guided by Australian Medical Association (AMA) for specialist doctors’ services. Our Psychologists fees are according to the Australian Psychological Society (APS) fee guidelines. Mind Connections Specialists Services’ set fees are reasonable and are less than AMA and APS recommended fees.
We bulk bill DVA Gold Cardholders. Provided there is proof, we accommodate low out of pocket expenses for genuine, financially disadvantaged patients with long-term care needs.
Informed financial consent (IFC)
In order to provide fair and equitable process we have policies and procedures for informed financial consent. All our professionals are skilled in recovery based therapy empowering you with ability and problem solving. It is important for us that you understand how much it costs for your treatment. We know that it is very reassuring for you to know about total costs from your initial appointment until you return to your full recovery.
At Mind Connections Specialists Services we are proud of our track record that majority of our patients’ achieve full recovery within 6 – 18 month period. People who need long term chronic care is in the minority. We take pride on maintenance of individual wellbeing, relapse prevention and early intervention which means increased quality of life for our patients, their families and loved ones.
IFC is a part of our quality assurance process ensuring that we are serious about providing you with best possible treatment.
Crisis appointments with psychiatrists and psychologists
You may not want to attend office based appointments due to other commitments, distance and/or inconvenience. You may not want to drive to see a specialist or a psychologist by coming all the way in busy times and heavy traffic.
You have the opportunity to book an urgent appointment with one of psychiatrists or a psychologists via Skype. You have the choice of booking multiples of 15 minutes time slots and payments should be made prior to the consultation.
Please note there is no Medicare rebates for these consultations for metropolitan areas. Provided there is a referral, Medicare rebates will apply for rural country towns and residential aged care services throughout Australia.
Please be mindful that you are advised to pay the full fee at the end or before the consultation. Our staff will lodge your claim to Medicare. You will get your Medicare refund within 24 hours.
We accept cash, bank cheques, Visa and Master Cards.
We do not accept personal cheques.
If you are an Australian Citizen or a permanent resident you can claim Medicare rebates provided you bring a correct referral from your GP for your initial visit.
To see a specialist – you must bring a GP referral on your initial visit or if you are returning to a follow up appointment and one year has lapsed since your last visit.
To see a psychologist – In order to claim your Medicare rebate you need a GP referral with a Mental Health Care Plan addressed to our Psychologist for your initial appointment.
Sometimes our receptionist staff may guide you about other instances that you need a referral.
Cancellation fees – Practice staff will send you a SMS appointment reminder 48 h before your appointment and you must reply with Y or N to confirm or cancel your appointment. If you do not respond we will remove your name from the allocated time slot schedule.
If you failed to attend your first scheduled appointment without notifying us you are required to pay a $50 fee. This need to be paid before you re-book your next appointment.
Pre-payment of full appointment fee – If you have a history of more than two consecutive non-attendances without notifying us, you are required to pay the full fee to secure the next appointment.