There has been some great news from Medicare in regards to rebates and session allocation extension - from the usual 10 session allocation to now a 20 session allocation of their rebates.
UNFORTUNATELY the way this has been interpreted by many is that there are somehow free sessions available. This is unfortunately just not true - medicare are not paying the fees of providers, they are simply extending their rebate to cover now 20 sessions in a year instead of the very limited 10 sessions they have always provided rebate for.
This means that there is still a gap fee.
How it works is as follows. Our costs per session are set and the amount is due on the day for the session. For individuals with a Mental Health Care Plan the session fee is paid upfront. Then medicare rebate is applied and this refund goes directly to the client from medicare.
There are a handful of providers who may be able to bulk bill but unfortunately we are not in this position due to our outgoings and overheads. We are happy to try to refer you to a bulk billing provider, the wait lists are often long.
WE ARE BACK DOING LIMITED FACE TO FACE sessions following the tough COVID restrictions.
We are also continuing to offer ZOOM / VIDEO and phone telehealth sessions for those that this works well for.
We ask that if you feel unwell on the day with fever or symptoms that may be transferable to others that you alert us and take up the telehealth offer.
Available via referral from your GP prior to your first session
Did you know...
• Accredited Mental Health Social Workers are recognised under Medicare to provide counselling to clients referred by GPs, paediatricians and psychiatrists.
• In order to be eligible to offer Medicare rebates, social workers have had to provide evidence of extensive postgraduate training and experience in the field of mental health.
• So, if you are looking for a skilled and experienced private practitioner to provide a professional assessment, counselling, and a range of treatment and support options to your patients, you may wish to consider referral to an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker.
How do I Access Medicare Rebate?
You MUST get a referral from your GP for a Mental Health Plan prior to claiming the rebate
All invoices must be paid in full on the day by you and a tax receipt given.
You claim the rebate as below.
How do I claim the rebate?
Pay your invoice in full and receive a tax receipt from Enhance Wellbeing Counselling
Take your invoice to medicare or apply online via the MyGov website to claim your rebate.
Kate Lithgow is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker recognised under Medicare to provide counselling under the Mental Health Plan as referred by your GP.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme has provision for 10 sessions of counselling under the Improved Daily Living Criteria.
Get support to improve or get the skills needed to live as independently as possible at home, and participate more in your community.
If you are an NDIS participant and have been approved for the support category ‘improved daily living’ in your NDIS plan, you can access the supports
First check that you have provision for this on your plan or arrange to have the support category approved.
Kate Lithgow is a registered NDIS provider and can help you with all aspects of counselling.
24 hours minimum notice
We require 24 business hours notice for any cancellations or rescheduling or you will be required to pay the full fee for any sessions that are missed or cancelled with less than 24 hours notice.
In fact, your reserved time is your time, whether you choose to keep it or not. Paying for missed sessions can increase the motivation people have with respect to their participation in therapy, which in turn improves outcomes.
Accordingly, we require 24 hours notice of any cancellation or rescheduling, our standard session fees are expected for the reservation of our time. Rescheduling an appointment is also regarded as a cancellation.
IN particular this applies if your booked session is on a MONDAY - we require notification of a change or cancellation by close of business FRIDAY in order to re-fill that slot.
We have fixed outgoing fees that we need to cover ourselves. In genuine and specific circumstances we may reduce your cancellation fee to cover these fees.
We cannot extend time
We understand that from time to time there are circumstances beyond our control that will cause us to turn up late to a scheduled meeting/ session.
That being said, as we operate on a 50 min schedule with clients booked all day, we cannot extend your session beyond the 50 minutes. If you do not tell us you are running late, our practitioners may not be available 20 minutes past your scheduled time if there is no follow-on appointment for them or other reasons for them to stay. Late appearances after 20 mins are considered no-shows.
EAP - Employment Assistance Program
Check with your Employer
Kate Lithgow is a provider with Converge International EAP which provides Employment Assistance for a number of businesses across the Geelong Region for onsite, offsite and critical incident response.
Check with your individual employer as to who your provider is.
50 minute Sessions
We provide 50 minutes sessions and as we are booked throughout the day, this gives time for your counsellor to grab a bathroom break or a drink of water and to write up session notes. As previously stated, this cannot be extended due to late arrival,
Individuals can request a 90 min session at a cost that reflects the session length. Contact for further info.
Couple's counselling first session is now 90 minutes long and the cost is reflected as such for this session. This is so that we can give both parties the attention they require and make assessments and goal plans.
Family or group sessions are 90 minutes long and the cost is reflected by the session length.
How many sessions will I need?
6-10 sessions or ongoing support - its up to you
We find that most clients benefit from 6-10 sessions of counselling to see the results that they are looking for.
That being said, many clients find that ongoing support is beneficial and have been clients of Enhance Wellbeing Counselling for a number of years, receiving monthly to 6 weekly support to stay on track. This is especially helpful for clients who have complex trauma, who are dealing with difficult relationships, have been through burnout, have had difficult childhoods or who just appreciate being able to check in and remain on track.
How far ahead do I need to book?
A week to 2 weeks
We are usually able to book you in within a week to 2 weeks of first contact. If your request is more urgent please let us know so that we can arrange to see you in a timely manner.
Do you offer phone or video counselling?
We can offer both phone and zoom (video) counselling with the first session face to face if possible.
We offer both phone and video online counselling. We do find face to face counselling the best form of counselling, however we also understand it can be difficult for people to access face to face counselling for a variety of reasons.
Our rates are the same as face to face as we still utilise the same facilities to ensure a confidential environment and the time per session is the same. This option is not currently available to medicare clients unless you are living in a rural region and the first 2 sessions and the last session must be face to face as stipulated by the code of practise.