Northside Psychological Consultancy (NPC) provides the following information about billing processes for psychological services:
• NPC generally bulk-bills for an initial clinical psychology assessment (usually the first two sessions and only with a GP's Mental Health Care Plan); for subsequent sessions, a sliding fee scale is generally used taking into account the duration of the consultation; initial consultations are generally 55-60 minutes; bulk-billing of sessions beyond the initial assessment may only be considered upon negotiation with, in writing, and at the discretion of the Clinical Director; this policy is explained to potential clients at the time of initial contact with NPC
• Those clients not eligible to be bulk-billed will, however, experience low out-of-pocket expenses (full fees are payable in cash only with clients then being able to seek a clinical psychology rebate through Medicare provided they have an eligible GP's Mental Health Care Plan); the Medicare claim avenue cannot be used simultaneously with a private health fund ancillary/extras claim; the duration of subsequent consultations generally is 55-60 minutes
• Private-billing (no GP's Mental Health Care Plan is required and the client self-refers); the client chooses to attend NPC independently and assumes full responsibility for payment of the clinical psychology fee which is determined by a sliding-scale
• Private health insurers (please check your eligibility requirements for ancillary/extras insurance, specifically for clinical psychology services); this claim avenue cannot be used simultaneously with a Medicare claim
• Work Cover and/or CRS (Departmental referral and prior approval is required for those eligible)
• Veterans' Affairs (Departmental referral and prior approval is required for those eligible)
• Employee-Assistance Schemes (Employer's referral and prior approval is required for those eligible)
• Other private, non-rebatable or contractual arrangements for longer-term treatment, psychotherapy, counselling, mediation services, in-service training, and/or particular assessments (e.g. cognitive or psycho-educational appraisals; psychological injury evaluations) as negotiated between the client/organisation and the Clinical Director.
For non-bulk-billed clients, privately-billed clients or those without a GP's Mental Health Care Plan, NPC requires full payment in cash at the time of the consultation. NPC is unable to provide credit or part-payment accounts for clinical psychology or other consultancy services.
Cancellation & Non-Attendance Policy
Northside Psychological Consultancy (NPC) requires that clients provide a minimum of 48 hours' telephone notice (text messages are not accepted) in the event of being unable to attend a scheduled appointment. Whilst this may not always be possible (such as in the case of a personal emergency), NPC respectfully, still requires a minimum of 48 hours' advance cancellation notice so that the appointment may be offered to another client. This notice assists NPC to continue to offer generous bulk-billing and/or to keep clinical psychology fees as low as possible and affordable for all clients. NPC reserves the right to apply a late cancellation of appointment fee where applicable. This fee is set down as 75% of NPC's Clinical Psychology Fee where the client fails to provide at least 48 hours' notice of cancellation. Clients who provide more than 48 hours' notice of cancellation are not required to pay any fee. Should clients need to cancel an appointment or advise of late arrival, NPC requires that this be done by making direct telephone contact with the Clinical Director and not by text message and/or email.
Failure to attend a scheduled appointment in the absence of any notice will require the client to pay the full clinical psychology fee prior to the Practice Management Accounting System (PMAS) being able to allocate any other appointments for the client. NPC reserves the right to apply a non-attendance at appointment fee where applicable.
Clients are respectfully advised that NPC chooses to pursue the collection of outstanding fees through an external debt collection agency.
A copy of NPC's Cancellation & Non-Attendance Policy will be offered to all clients at the first face-to-face consultation (i.e. when you agree to become a formal client of the practice). Clients, carers and/or parents are responsible for ensuring that this Policy is fully read and understood. By consenting in writing to become a client of NPC, clients agree to accept and fully abide by this Policy.
Other Important Information
Payment for rebatable clinical psychology services is to be undertaken by cash only. NPC does not accept payment by cheque, credit card or Eftpos. Rebatable mental health or psychological conditions are listed on the Medicare website. Current Medicare rebates for clinical psychology services can be found on the Medicare website.
Payment for non-rebatable clinical psychology services is required to be undertaken by cash only (payment is required in advance in the case of particular lengthy or complex assessments/reports (e.g. intellectual, psycho-educational or psychological injury assessments). Reports for Centrelink are required to be paid for in advance and prior to the report being released to the client.
NPC's Practice Management Accounting System (PMAS) does not offer a progressive (or part) payment system for clinical psychology services. NPC advises that upon seeking and accepting clinical psychology services, clients, therefore, agree to be personally responsible to pay for consultations in full at each session.
NPC advises that the fee charged for individual clinical psychology services/consultations may vary according to the type, complexity and/or duration of the consultation. NPC reserves the right to implement a sliding-scale fee schedule where appropriate (when bulk-billing does not apply). NPC's sliding scale of fees may be discussed when you become a formal client. These fees are freely available for perusal by clients in the office of NPC.
The APS website provides details about its own schedule of recommended fees for psychological and associated services. NPC advises that this is a guide only, not a determination. NPC advises that its fees for clinical psychology services are always significantly lower than that recommended by APS. NPC's fees are also generally lower than other comparable, independent clinical psychology practices which may offer identical assessment, identical therapy services and/or an identical level of availability to clients.
© 2013-17 Copyright reserved on all written content by Marcene Brumby, Clinical Psychologist.
® Northside Psychological Consultancy (NPC).