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 at least for the first two sessions and only with a GP's Mental Health Care/Treatment Plan and/or a referral from a Psychiatrist or Paediatrician, which authorises available clinical psychology sessions under Medicare in the calendar year); for subsequent sessions, bulk-billing may be applied following consultation and agreement with the Director, however, for those clients not eligible for bulk-billing, a sliding fee scale may be applied taking into account the duration and nature of the clinical consultation; all consultations are generally 55-60 minutes
• Those clients not eligible to be bulk-billed will, however, experience very 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 Mental Health Care/Treatment Plan with available Medicare sessions); the Medicare claim avenue cannot be used simultaneously with a private health fund ancillary/extras claim
• Private-billing (no GP's Mental Health Care/Treatment 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 taking into account the duration and nature of the clinical consultation
• 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
• 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 Director.
For non-bulk-billed clients, privately-billed clients or those without a GP's Mental Health Care/Treatment Plan, NPC requires full payment in cash at the commencement 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 24 hours' (plus one minute) 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 which is the client's sole issue), NPC still requires a minimum of 24 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 50% of NPC's full clinical psychology fee where the client fails to provide at least 24 hours' notice of cancellation. Clients who provide more than 24 hours' notice of cancellation are not required to pay any fee. Should clients need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, NPC requires that this be done by making direct telephone contact with the Director and not by text message and/or email which are unable to be acknowledged.
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 being able to allocate further appointments for the client. NPC reserves the right to apply a non-attendance-at-appointment fee where applicable.
Clients are advised that NPC chooses to actively pursue the collection of outstanding fees through an external debt collection agency. Clients are advised that non-payment of outstanding fees may well have a potential impact upon a client's credit-rating.
A copy of NPC's Cancellation & Non-Attendance Policy will be provided 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
Unless bulk-billed, 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 and/or other reasons are required to be paid for in advance and prior to the report being viewed or released to the client.
NPC's practice management accounting system 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 (unless bulk-billed).
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. If not bulk-billed, NPC reserves the right to implement a sliding-scale fee schedule of which the client will be fully informed.
The APS website provides details about its own schedule of recommended fees for psychological and associated services. NPC advises that the APS guide for recommended fees is not a directive by which clinical psychologists are required to abide. NPC advises that its fees for clinical psychology services are generally lower than that recommended by APS. NPC's fees are also generally much lower than other comparable, independent clinical psychology practices which may offer identical assessment, identical treatments and/or an identical level of availability to clients.
© 2013-18 Copyright reserved on all written content by Marcene Brumby, Clinical Psychologist.
® Northside Psychological Consultancy (NPC).