What to Expect
getting a referral
If you wish to claim a Medicare rebate ($124.50 per session, for 10 sessions per calendar year) please see your General Practitioner (or Psychiatrist) and they may be able to facilitate this for you. You will need the doctor to draw up a Mental Health Care Plan, in addition to the referral letter, in order to claim this rebate.
Some GP’s may wish to ask for an opinion initially, and then draw up the Mental Health Care Plan after your first appointment with your WestHealth Practitioner; this means you will not be eligible for the Medicare rebate for the first consultation.
WHAT TO BRING TO YOUR FIRST APPOINTMENT
- Referral letter & Mental Health Care Plan (if this has not already been sent directly to our practice
- Medicare card (if you have been referred by a GP or Medical Specialist
- Any letters/reports/copies of assessments that have been carried out which may provide further information to your practitioner
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU COME TO AN APPOINTMENT?
A session with a practitioner will usually last for approximately 50 minutes, however some sessions will take longer. For the first one or two appointments the practitioner will carry out an assessment of issues that you have come to see them about. This assessment is based upon the information that the practitioner receives from you. As well as having the opportunity to talk about your difficulties and to ask questions, the practitioner will also ask you about other aspects of your life in order to get a more complete picture of your situation, not just your problems. This allows us to understand your difficulties and symptoms, and to make a diagnosis in order to plan you individually tailored treatment.
At the end of the assessment phase (it may take longer than one or two sessions depending upon individuals) we discuss our findings with you and whether or not further sessions are likely to be useful. We will then make our recommendations for treatment. You will usually discuss with the practitioner roughly how long the sessions may continue, and even agree on a number, eg. 6 sessions followed by a review. However, it is difficult to estimate the number of sessions that we feel may be needed until we have gained an good understanding of the issues at hand. Sometimes only a few appointments are enough to make a difference, but for other people whose difficulties are more complex a greater number will be needed. Whatever the case, you are free to end the sessions at any time if you wish.
The information you tell a practitioner is confidential, so it is not discussed with others. However, a practitioner will routinely write to the person who referred you (eg. GP) to summarize the outcome of your consultations. If you have any queries about confidentiality it is useful to discuss them with your practitioner. There are certain circumstances in which your practitioner may have to break confidentiality; these are only if there was a serious risk of harm either to yourself or other people. If this was the case, you would, if possible, be notified that confidentiality was to be broken.