What is “Telehealth”?
Telehealth is therapy delivered via video or telephone. Medicare rebates apply for psychology sessions held via telehealth meeting Medicare requirements.
Telehealth has also been approved as a method of service delivery for a number of private insurance companies accept telehealth as a treatment modality (depending on your level of cover).
Telehealth is now quite common – for example, GP, psychiatry, and psychology consultations are being delivered by telehealth.
Telehealth offers several advantages
Distance from the therapist is no problem – telehealth (consultation via telephone or video) improves access to psychological support by increasing convenience and removing geographical barriers.
Saves valuable time – telehealth does away with the time spent driving to appointments and clinic waiting room times.
No more parking problems
Safety – in these times of recurrent waves of pandemics you have no need for unnecessary possible exposure to the coronavirus travelling to and from your practice and possible waiting room exposure.
Being ill or quarantined is not a problem – telehealth puts your therapist into your own home. It keeps you and the community safe. You can engage in a telehealth consultation when you are ill – not putting others at risk of exposure.
Avoiding inclement weather – cold; wind; rain; hail or heat can be avoided with a telehealth session in your own home or workplace office.
Easier – some people find that telehealth is easier than meeting in-person.
Supported by national professional bodies – The Australian Psychological Society and the Australian Association of Psychologists both approve and support telehealth.
Supported by research – according to recent research, there are no differences between outcomes of telehealth and therapy delivered in-person.
Results of a 2020 study of 4336 clients found that there were no differences between outcomes of mental health services delivered via videoconference and therapy delivered in-person. These results were obtained across a range of psychological problems and across a range of outcome measures.
This is consistent with previous research that has found no difference in outcome between Telehealth and in-person therapy for adults, adolescents and children treated for depression, anxiety, trauma, eating problems, and substance abuse.
Less dropping out – Telehealth has been found to help you continue your therapy and not drop out from mental health care.
You can see any psychologist in Australia via telehealth. All Medicare card holders are eligible to receive Medicare rebates for telehealth. To receive rebates, Medicare’s requirements are:
- You must hold a valid Medicare card.
- You must have a Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHCP) and GP referral for 6 sessions (you can use this to see any psychologist you choose: in-person or via Telehealth)
- After 6 sessions, you must return to your GP for a ‘Review of your Plan’. This Review gives you rebates for 4 more sessions (this is a total of 10 sessions).
To book your telehealth appointment contact Chapman Marques Psychology and Relationship Counselling – phone 6251 1880. Telehealth sessions must be pre-paid. You will also be required to complete the Intake Form; Confidentiality Statement; and, Telehealth Agreement Form prior to your session.
Telehealth for psychotherapy cannot be delivered if you are outside Australian territory as it requires clinicians to be registered in the country in which you are located.
However, Relationship Counselling can be delivered if you are located outside Australia.
Telehealth is not suitable for crisis situations such when life is at risk of imminent danger. For immediate mental health assistance: Please call the Mental Health Access Line – 1800 011 511 or Lifeline – 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636. If a life is in danger, please call 000 or present to your nearest hospital with an emergency department. All of these services operate in Australia 24 hours per day.