Although a referral is not required to see a Clinical Psychologist, the majority of our patients are referred through the Medicare Better Access system which covers the majority of the costs. General Practitioners (GPs) are required to formulate a Mental Health Care Plan. Psychiatrists are required to have a referral from a GP.
The following item numbers must be billed by the GP prior to a Medicare based referral: 2700 and 2701 apply to GPs who have not undertaken mental health skills training. 2715 and 2717 apply to GPs who have undertaken mental health skills training. Please note that these item numbers must be billed prior to the first consultation with one of our Clinical Psychologists.
For Psychiatric referrals and multidisciplinary team-care service, a referral letter to Cygnet Psychiatry under item 291 is required (opinion & report).
The majority of referrals to Cygnet Clinic from General Practitioners are through a Mental Health Care Plan (GP-MHCP). Unlike other types of Care Plans (such as Chronic Disease Management Plans), a MHCP since 1 November 2017 has no expiry date.
This effectively means a Mental Health Care Plan Review or a New Mental Health Care Plan is no longer required unless the patients condition has changed (e.g., depression then years later PTSD). However a dated and signed referral letter is still required.
Patients are able to access a Clinical Psychologist for 20 sessions per calendar year (starting Jan 1 and ending 31 December). A MHCP review is optional after 6 sessions, however if a GP provides a cover letter asking for 10 sessions within a calendar year, then the Psychologist is obliged to give the GP written update reports (after 6th and 10th sessions) but a visit back to the GP after 6th is optional if the cover letter clearly requests 10 sessions. New measures introduced In the 2020 Federal Budget have increased yearly sessions to 20.
A referral letter needs to be sent requesting 10 additonal sessions (Sessions 11 to 20).
To maximise the benefit and access to our service, we strongly encourage doctors (including GPs, Psychiatrists and Paediatricians) to utilise the suggested Cygnet Clinic Cover Letter/Referral Letter on this page. It is worthwhile creating a template based on the suggested cover letter in your Electronic Medical Records software for future use.
Fax the cover letter along with the MHCP to 9463 6311, through Healthlink ID: cygnetcl or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cygnet Clinical Psychologists are highly experienced in assisting patients on Workers’ Compensation. A referral letter from a GP is required for our Clinicians to treat individuals with current Workers Compensation Claims. We require that this referral letter is also forwarded to the insurer so that the patient is covered for consultations and will not be liable for costs.
Motor Vehicle Insurance
Similarly, we are able to assist patients under MVA insurance claims. Again a referral letter from the treating GP is required, and a duplicate letter forwarded to the Insurance Commission of Western Australia.
Cygnet Clinic has been registered with NDIS in Western Australia since the test site of NDIS in Midland was established. However, given the nature of our work, we only accept those with self-funded Clinical Psychology packages (or legal Guardian). This enables our clients to control the use of funds directly by holding the money and paying per session with a compliant NDIS plan in place.
Q: Do you Bulk-Bill?
A: No, unfortunately bulk-billing has become unsustainable. We charge much less that the APS recommended rate, however there is an out-of-pocket fee for all patients. Information on fees are found here. Those looking for no cost services are encouraged to be referred to PORTS service https://ports.org.au/
Q: Can a Psychiatrist or Paediatrician refer directly to Cygnet Clinic?
A: Absolutely. Only a referral letter dated with your provider number is needed to refer to Cygnet Clinic under Medicare (a Mental Health Care Plan is not required). The referral letter is valid for 12 months.
Q: How often do I need to do a MHCP?
A: Recent changes to Medicare mean that you only require a single MHCP which does not expire (previously it was 2 years). A review plan is now optional. A referral letter is required and a new plan is only needed if the patient's condition changes (e.g., referred for Depression then later referred for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder). You do need a referral letter stating the number of sessions (preferably 10) from your GP.
Q: What is the gap for those not on concession?
A: There is a gap for all patients referred to our private practice. Information on fees are found here.
Q: Can my patient choose their clinician?
A: Yes, and we encourage patients to find the best fit for them. One of the advantages of Cygnet Clinic is the breath and depth of our Clinical Team.
Q: Is there a difference between Psychologist and Clinical Psychologist?
A: Yes, Clinical Psychologists have AHPRA endorsed title after completing an approved Master of Psychology (Clinical) degree after already completing a 4 year degree (total of 6 years). Admission into a Clinical Masters program is extremely competitive, with some universities accepting as few as 10 applicants per year. After completion of Master of Psychology, the candidate must be accepted into an approved Clinical Psychologist Registrar program (and under direct supervision of a Clinical Psychologist Supervisor). The minimum training time for a Clinical Psychologist is 8 years. Clinical Psychologists with a doctoral degree such as a PhD may have upward of 11 years.
The rebate for Clinical Psychologists under Medicare is higher than for Psychologists without endorsement. Clinical Psychologist often work in public health system and are found in Psychiatric in-patient and outpatient units working alongside Psychiatrists. Clinical and Neuropsychologists ascribe to the same diagnostic and classification system as Medicine, and as a result are more likely to be found in hospital based settings working in multidisciplinary teams alongside Consultant Psychiatrists.
Clinical training is rigorous and acceptance into Masters is extremely competitive. However, this does not mean that Psychologists from other endorsed areas or Registered Psychologists are not just as valuable in providing psychological services to the community. We make no claim of superiority compared to other professional groups or levels of education in Mental Health training. Cygnet is based on a multidisciplinary team base model as best practice for assisting all our patients.