Booking an Appointment
This agreement is to make an appointment with a practitioner at Victorian Counselling and Psychological Services (VCPS).
When you book an appointment, that time is set aside for you. You agree that you have checked that the appointment date, time and location is correct and that you agree to attend the appointment.
After booking an appointment online, you will be contacted via phone by VCPS to finalise the booking and asked;
Following the telephone call, we will send a welcome letter, via email containing information about attending your first session.
If we are not able to contact before your appointment, or you do not respond to messages from VCPS about your appointment, VCPS may cancel your appointment.
We automatically send an SMS approximately two days before an appointment as a reminder with the details of the appointment. We do so as a courtesy, and therefore the SMS should not be relied on as the only method to remind you about an upcoming appointment as you may not receive the SMS due to circumstances beyond our control.
Please ensure that you have your mobile phone with you when making an online booking. During the online booking process, you will receive an SMS code which you must enter as the last step of the booking process. Enter the code, and you will then receive an email confirming that your appointment booking was successful.
What are the standard and subsidised Fee rates?
The practice fee for regular consultations with a psychologist (approximately 50 minutes) is $235. Other practitioners (i.e. psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, GPs) have differing rates depending on their speciality. If you are not sure about the fees, contact VCPS before booking an appointment. If you have a Mental Health Care Plan from your GP, you may be entitled to receive up to 10 sessions subsidised by Medicare per each calendar year. The amount funded will be $86.15 or $126.50. A reduced rate may also be available for students, pensioners or health care cardholders.
We advise the fee for your consultation in the welcome letter you receive with your first appointment confirmation. Note that unless an agreement for a reduced fee has communicated before your appointment, you are responsible for payment of the stated consultation fee.
Like most other service businesses we no longer accept cash payments, we do, however, accept payment via credit or debit cards. Our preferred method is for you to register your payment details before you attend your first appointment.
In your welcome email, there is a web link to our secure online payment portal with the Commonwealth Bank. By registering your payment details with the Commonwealth Bank portal, you will not be asked for payment in person when attending your appointments. The processing of the fee from your registered account will occur on the day of your appointment for the appropriate appointment fee.
Your registered account will not be charged on the day if there is a payment plan with a third-party payer or if your appointment is Bulk Billed.
If you do not register your payment details, you will be contacted by us and asked for them over the phone or asked to pay at reception on the day of your appointment. Making payment in person may be inconvenient as many appointments often finish at the same time requiring delays at reception for those who have not registered online.
Information about fees for cancelled or missed Appointments
Sometimes things may happen that prevent you from attending your appointment. Unlike most other medical professionals, we make specific times for appointments with you. That means if you cancel or miss an appointment immediately before your allocated time, your practitioner cannot easily replace your appointment with another. Note that fees are charged for late notice cancellations and missed appointments.
If, for some reason you need to cancel or postpone an appointment, you must give at least two business days’ notice (excluding weekends). If you provide less than two business days notice, you will be charged the full fee for your appointment.
As with attended appointments, VCPS will debit automatically from your nominated payment method the amount owed on the day of the cancellation.
If Medicare, or a third party, was paying for your appointment, you may be responsible for paying for the fees that Medicare or the third party would have paid.
Cancellation fees do not apply if you are accessing our services through your Employee Assistance Program (EAP). However, the missed appointment will count as part of your overall session entitlement.
Should you wish to discuss hardship or extenuating reasons as to why the fee should be reduced or waived, please do so with your practitioner at your next appointment.
Medicare/Private Health Fund Rebates
If you have a referral and a Mental Health Care Plan from a GP or psychiatrist, Medicare subsidises up to 10 psychological consultations each calendar year. An initial rebate of either $84.80 or $124.50, is available which then increases up to approximately 85% of the consultation fee when you have reached your Medicare Safety Net limit. Medicare usually deposits the subsidised amount into the bank account you have registered with Medicare about 24 hours after the appointment.
An itemised receipt will be provided to those with Private Health Insurance so that you can claim from your Private Health Insurer if your policy allows.
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