Frequently asked questions
Do I need a referral?
Do I get a Medicare rebate?
See above. In most circumstances, and where eligible, your psychologist can process the rebate for you through our practice management software which saves you time doing it yourself.
Can I attend without my child?
Can I get a Medicare rebate if my child is not present?
Unfortunately you cannot claim a rebate for sessions where the child is not present. This is strictly against Medicare guidelines, sessions attended without a child are privately funded and therefore out of pocket. Some private health funds may provide a rebate, in such cases it is best to check with your individual health fund.
You also cannot use your own Mental Health Care Plan when attending sessions without your child to discuss your child. Mental Health Care plans can only be used to treat the person whose name the Mental Health Care Plan is under, for the mental health concern of the person named in the Mental Health Care Plan.
Do private health rebates apply?
How do I pay?
If your psychologist is attending a school visit, pre-payment is required. You can do this by calling our reception team who can take payments over the phone.
What information is required before attending our first appointment?
Our friendly reception team will email an information pack which contains background information and other intake forms. We ask that you complete and return this as early as possible prior to attending your first appointment. This allows your psychologist to feel like they already know a bit about you and why you are coming to the clinic before you even come through the door and will help you feel welcome and at ease.
Do I stay in the session with my child?
For assessments, children will attend the session on their own except in the case of very young children (e.g. under 3 years). Your psychologist will explain this when they meet you.
What is the process for an Autism Assessment?
A diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) requires a team of professionals, all experienced in ASD assessment and diagnosis, to agree on the diagnosis. Therefore, children must be seen by a paediatrician or a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, a psychologist and a speech pathologist or occupational therapist. Those professionals then consult together before an outcome is reached. Usually after all the assessments are complete, the child is seen by their paediatrician.
At Solution Psychology, we use only GOLD standard tools in the diagnosis of Autism. The assessment is between 4-5 sessions and includes a comprehensive written report which includes our formulation and treatment plan. These are discussed in detail at our feedback session.
Our assessments are tailored to the needs of the child. Your psychologist will discuss which assessments are suitable for your child during session 1. Our comprehensive ASD assessment includes a combination of the following gold standard assessments:
- Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised (ADI-R): 1 hour Parent Interview typically takes place in session 1.
- Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2): 1 hour Child Observation / Play session (with child only or parent and child depending on the age of the child).
- Cognitive Assessment (WISC-V, WPPSI-III): Child only assessment, usually 1 hour depending on age and language development of child. Sometimes two sessions are needed to complete the cognitive assessment.
- External setting observation (child care, kinder, school).
- Comprehensive feedback session at the conclusion of the assessment (includes 2 copies of our full report).
- In order to be eligible for a Medicare rebate for Autism Assessments, a referral is needed from a paediatrician. Your Paediatrician makes a referral under the Helping Children with Autism Package (HWCA). GP referrals are not applicable. This referral entitles the child rebates for 4 assessment sessions. If you are undertaking Autism Assessments with another professional (e.g. Speech Pathologist, Occupational Therapist), you may not have access to the full 4 sessions with a psychologist alone (i.e. the 4 sessions are spread across the speech pathologist AND psychologist).
- Your paediatrician will need to have seen you at least twice before they can make a referral for an assessment under HWCA.
- Rebates are only available for sessions where the child is present.
Our receptionist can answer any further questions you have about autism assessments.
What is telehealth?
A telehealth service is a psychological therapy service that is delivered via video conference where both a visual and audio link has been established between a patient and their treating allied health professional. Telehealth services can be delivered by psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists that are registered with Medicare.
Eligible patients are required to have a Mental Health Treatment Plan and be located in a rural and remote area, namely, Modified Monash Model areas 4-7. To find out if you are located in an eligible area, please visit the MMM locator, select the ‘MMM classification’ and enter the location.
Can I still access online sessions if I do not live in a rural or remote area?
Yes, absolutely, especially during COVID-19 where rebates have been introduced until September. After September you will not be eligible for a Medicare rebate. You can use NDIS self-managed funds. For private health insurance rebates check with your provider.
Are you registered with NDIS?
No, however we see many self-managed clients. Self-managed NDIS clients are treated as private paying clients, we issue invoices and clients claim privately.
We do not accept referrals for plan or agency managed NDIS clients.
Do you charge cancellation fees?
We’re proud to run on time so you can plan your day effectively.
If you need to reschedule an appointment you must provide us with at least 24 hours’ notice to avoid a fee.
If you miss an appointment without notice the full fee will apply.
We understand that sometimes life gets in the way of scheduled appointment times, and we do take extenuating circumstances into consideration.
> Missed appointment: Full Appointment Fee Payable.
> Late notice change of appointment: Full Appointment Fee Payable
> Medicare Rebates and Health fund benefits do not apply to these fees
Help us NEVER charge a missed appointment fee. All you need to do is give us 24 hours notice and let us know. That way we stay on time and you avoid late fees.
You’ll receive an SMS reminder 3 days before your appointment. Can’t make it? Simply call 99887760.
A full copy of our fees & rebate policy and our late notice policy is emailed with our intake pack upon booking.
COVID-19 Face to Face Session Update
Like Victoria, we are slowly easing restriction also. SOME of our psychologists will begin returning to face to face sessions in the coming weeks.
There will be restrictions in place to make your visit safer. Some of these include things like temperature screening and waiting in your car until we send a text message and continue with contactless payments.
We have a return to face to face information sheet which all clients receive prior to their face to face appointment. If you are scheduled for a face to face consultation, it is important that you read this carefully. If you have not received a copy, please let us know.
To ease into our return to face to face consultations, we will be making clinical decisions based on the individual needs of our clients, therefore it is very important that you and your psychologist together discuss your ongoing care plan and a decision will be made on when it is appropriate for you to return to the clinic.
Telehealth remains available and is our preference.
Medicare has announced that rebates are in place until September.
All sessions remain telehealth unless advised by your psychologist.
Please bear with us while we make these changes as our priority is the safety of you and our team.
We are incredibly proud of how our clients and our team have adjusted to this new normal and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.
As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Your ongoing care is our priority.
HOW ONLINE SESSIONS WORK
Online sessions will take place via zoom (or phone if you prefer). We have instructions on our website FAQ section on how to do this https://www.solutionpsychology.com.au/faqs/ .
So far we have found that clients, although nervous about the move to telehealth, have found online sessions to be better than expected and been surprised by the effectiveness (research shows that online sessions have just as successful outcomes as face to face).
We can set up a meet and greet session with your psychologist or a troubleshooting/trial session with one of our provisional psychologists to help with the technology nerves.
As current times are fluid we will keep you up to date as things change rest assured all our psychologists are ready and your care will continue.
We look forward to seeing you all on the other side of a screen soon.
WHAT CAN YOU (AND WE) DO TO REDUCE RISK OF INFECTION?
We are committed to ensuring our team are healthy when they are at work. We are equally committed to reducing your risk of exposure to illness while attending your appointments with us.
We are following Department of Health guidelines around hygiene and encourage you to do the same:
- Cough into your elbow
- Throw away soiled tissues
- Wash hands for a minimum 20 seconds regularly, or use hand sanitiser often, here are some good videos on handwashing
- With hand sanitiser https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnSjFr6J9HI
- With soap and water https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PmVJQUCm4E
- Stay home if you are unwell
- Follow the guidelines and recommendations set by the Department of Health and self-exclude if you have been to any of the countries with exclusion periods or have been in contact with someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. We also ask that you not attend the practice when you are unwell regardless of whether you think this may be COVID-19 or a cold or flu
OUR LATE NOTICE POLICY
Please follow our usual policy for cancellations and give at least 24 hours’ notice to cancel or reschedule your appointment. Where more than 24 hours’ notice is given there will be no fee charged. If you are unwell and cannot give 24 hours’ notice, please call us as soon as you can. We are happy to discuss waiving the cancellation fee during the current crisis if you are unwell, however we ask that you please give as much notice as possible, as we have other clients desperately waiting for appointments.
HOW ARE ONLINE/PHONE SESSIONS CHARGED?
Sessions fees cover the time spent with your clinician. Therefore, we charge our normal fee for Zoom/telephone sessions. From April 20th Medicare rebates are available for online sessions (rebates cannot be backdated for sessions held before this date). NDIS self-managed clients are able to use their funds for phone and online sessions. Private clients check with your private health insurer to see if you can access a rebate under these circumstances. Ask our admin team if you’re unsure.
We are not a bulk bill service.
HOW DO I PAY FOR MY ONLINE SESSION?
All online sessions need to be prepaid. If we have your credit card on file, payment will be processed prior to your session. Please ensure sufficient funds available. If paying by direct deposit, please ensure funds are received prior to your appointment.
Meanwhile, please stay as healthy as you can, don’t neglect your mental health, and above all, don’t panic.
Please be sure to call us on 99887760 if you have any concerns.
COVID-19: Things you can do
The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. Eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
How to protect yourself against COVID-19.
I am feeling unwell, what should I do?
If you are in any of these risk categories and begin to feel unwell and develop a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or respiratory illness either during your period of isolation (self-quarantine), or in the 14 days since arriving home from international travel, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Call ahead to your GP or emergency department and mention your overseas travel before you arrive at the doctor’s office so they can prepare appropriate infection control measures.
You can use the self assessment tool to help you decide if you should be tested.
Assessment centres have been established at 12 Melbourne Hospitals, You don’t need to call ahead if you attend one of the following clinics:
- The Alfred Hospital
- Albury Wodonga
- Austin Hospital
- Barwon Health – Geelong
- Box Hill Hospital
- Monash Clayton
- Northern Hospital.
- Peninsula Health – Frankston
- The Royal Melbourne Hospital
- St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne
- Sunshine Hospital
- Wonthaggi Hospital.
Patients who have symptoms compatible with COVID-19 may present to these screening clinics.
What can I do to reduce my risk of coronavirus infection?
- Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
- Stay at home if you feel sick. If you take medication make sure you have enough.
- Phone your doctor or the hotline – 1800 675 398 – if you need medical attention. They will tell you what to do.
- Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep.
- Wearing a face mask is not necessary if you are well.
- Buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol.
Limit exposure to media and instead seek out factual information. Don’t panic. Stay connected. Have fun. Remember to have a sense of humour. Accept how you are feeling, distance yourself from any unhelpful or negative thoughts and focus on the thoughts, feelings and actions you can control. Most importantly don’t forget to breathe!
COVID-19 & Anxiety
The Australian Psychological Society has produced this handy information sheet for coping with increased feelings of worry and unease at this time. It contains some helpful tips on how to talk to children about the coronavirus.
If your child is experiencing worry or anxiety, speak to your psychologist, they will be able to equip them evidenced based strategies.
If you would like a copy of our “How to support your child and their worries” tip sheet email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I prepare for online sessions?
Prior to your appointment:
- If you are an existing client and haven’t signed our new consent form, your psychologist will send you a new form. You will need to return this prior to your first online session.
- Decide which device you are going to use for your Zoom session, you can use your phone, iPad, laptop or desktop.
- If using a handheld device download the ZOOM app on your phone or device via the app store or Google Play. Be sure to do this in plenty of time prior to your appoitnment.
- If using your laptop or desktop, you will be prompted to download zoom via the invitation your psychologist sends or you can download here https://zoom.us/download
At your scheduled appointment:
- Your psychologist will send you a ZOOM link via email. When you click on the link, follow the prompts. Make sure you allow your device to use the microphone and camera.
- Here is a little video that outlines how to join a zoom session https://youtu.be/vFhAEoCF7jg.
- Make sure that you have a full battery in preparation
- Practice placing the phone, iPad, laptop or computer in a suitable location so that your psychologist can see you
- Make sure the camera and audio is turned on (it is a good idea to practice before your scheduled session time)
How do I pay for a zoom session:
You can pay for non face-to-face sessions via credit card which is stored in our secure encrypted system or via direct credit. Your psychologist will organise payment.
If you have any questions please call us on 99887760.