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Patient Information

Consultations

Consultations are usually provided in rooms and the first consolation must occur in person in rooms. All future consultations will be provided based on the patient’s preference of face-to-face in rooms or telehealth. If patients choose the telehealth option they will be responsible for ensuring they have a functioning internet connection, provided via video-conferencing. Patients will require a regular PC or tablet with a standard broadband connection.

An appointment can be made by calling the practice on (02) 8382 6746 or by making a request through this website. Appointments cannot be made by your General Practitioner (GP) or medical specialist.

As this is a specialist medical service all patients require a referral from their GP or from another medical specialist in order to be eligible for a Medicare reimbursement. GP referrals must be renewed every 12 months, whilst a referral from another medical specialist is only valid for 3 months. Whilst staff will endeavor to remind you when your referral is about to expire, it is up to the patient to organise a valid referral.

Patients can attend without a referral but in such cases will be ineligible for the Medicare reimbursement.

Appointments cannot be made by your General Practitioner (GP) or medical specialist.

New patients attending consultation for ADD/ADHD will not be prescribed medication at the initial visit.

Your initial 3-4 appointments involve taking a comprehensive psychiatric history which includes a broad range of mental health questions, medical questions, questions about your family history as well as your childhood and developmental history. This allows your doctor to develop a comprehensive understanding about your condition, which is then used to determine your diagnosis and establish a collaborative treatment plan.

Initial assessments are usually 60 minutes and follow-up appointments are usually 45 minutes but may be longer if required. Couple counselling appointments range between 45-60 minutes.

Please bring a valid referral and any pathology or imaging results as well as a current list of your medications (if applicable).

If you are presenting for an ADHD assessment, please bring any school reports or academic results from university. Where these are not available, please bring any neuropsychometric testing results conducted by a neuropsychologist. If none of these are available you will be referred to a neuropsychologist for neuropsychometric testing, in accordance with emerging best practice.

The first appointment must occur in person so that you can complete the necessary patient demographic forms and understand the conditions of this Practice. We ask that all patients arrive 20 minutes prior to their first appointment in order to have enough time to complete these forms and to have the opportunity to ask any questions prior to signing them.

A diagnosis and management plan for a patient typically takes three assessment sessions (although it can take longer depending on the complexity of the individual history). The doctor will make an independent assessment and provide an independent psychiatric opinion, regardless of the findings of your current treatment providers, including allied health professionals (including psychologists, counsellors and social workers) and General Practitioners. This independent assessment will also occur regardless of any information you have gained from social media, on-line platforms or friends and family. NO DIAGNOSTIC REPORTS ARE PROVIDED. We provide assessment and treatment ONLY.

Psychiatrists, as medical doctors, do prescribe medication. In this practice, medication is not prescribed for the first 3-4 appointments whilst your history is being taken and a diagnosis is being determined.

This will depend on the individual’s diagnosis and the complexity of their problems. Some psychotherapy patients will require twice weekly appointments but others may require fortnightly sessions or less frequent sessions for medication review and assistance. Once therapy is complete patients may require the occasional follow-up appointment for the purposes of monitoring and relapse prevention.

The rates are in line with the Australian Medical Association (AMA) recommended rates. This will be explained by the practice manager at the time of booking.

  • As this is a private practice, each appointment will occur a fee that is payable on the day
  • If you have an early morning appointment that is before 9 am, you will be billed for that appointment the evening before the appointment.
  • At the time of booking the initial appointment you will be asked to nominate a credit card which will be kept at the practice and used to pay for all future appointments.
  • If you wish to change the nominated credit card, please contact the practice prior to your appointment.
  • All those eligible for a Medicare rebate will receive the rebate at the end of their appointment. The funds are returned to the account you have nominated with Medicare but this may take between 24 – 48 hours.
  • As this is a private practice, each appointment will incur a fee that is payable on the day
  • If you have an early morning appointment that is before 9 am, you will be charged for that appointment the evening before the appointment and provided with a bill on the day of the appointment.
  • At the time of booking the initial appointment you will be asked to nominate a credit card which will be kept at the practice and used to pay for all future appointments.
  • If you wish to change the nominated credit card, please contact the practice prior to your appointment.
  • All those eligible for a Medicare rebate will receive the rebate at the end of their appointment. The funds are returned to the account you have nominated with Medicare, though this may take between 24 – 48 hours.

Australian citizens and permanent residents are eligible for reimbursement of a portion of their fees through Medicare. Once the Medicare Safety Net is reached approximately 80% of the fee is reimbursed by Medicare. At this practice staff will automatically electronically process your Medicare reimbursement at the time of your appointment unless you specifically ask them not to do so.

Private health insurance does not cover outpatient appointments.

If you are an admitted patient at St. Vincent’s Private Hospital and require a psychiatric review, your private health insurance and Medicare should cover a proportion of the doctor’s fee, but it is likely that a gap payment will also apply.

To help improve affordability for patients, the Medicare Safety Net provides support for those patients that require more frequent care. Medicare keeps a record of all your services that have been funded by Medicare and your co-payments. When your annual co-payments from all your specialist, GP and psychology appointments reaches a certain amount, Medicare will pay the normal rebate plus 80% of the remaining gap fee for the remainder of the year. The threshold for individuals and families is currently $2,249.80 per annum in co-payments, or $717.90 per annum for Concession Card Holders and Family Tax Benefit Part A. Inpatient hospital treatment fees do not count towards the Medicare Extended Safety Net. To have your family members counted as part of the threshold you need to register with Medicare.

We ask that cancellations be made in a timely manner so your appointment can be allocated to a patient on the waiting list.

  • If you cancel with more than 2 business days, no cancellation fee applies as adequate time is available for us to allocate the appointment to a patient on the waiting list.
  • If you cancel with one business day’s notice, a 50% cancellation fee applies as there is not enough time to allocate the appointment to someone on the waiting list.
  • If you call to cancel on the day or fail to attend, the full fee will be charged to the credit card you have nominated as the appointment cannot be re-allocated to patients on the waiting list.

These fees are not reimbursed by Medicare and, in the interests of fairness, apply to all patients and cannot be altered by the practice manager or reception staff.

Please note that cancellation messages left on weekends or after hours will be treated as made on the next business day.

Our business hours are Mon-Fri 9am-4pm excl public holidays.

Cancellations will not be accepted via SMS or email.

As a courtesy we will take reasonable steps to send you a text message of your appointment at least 2 business days prior to your scheduled appointment. The reminder will only be sent to the patient. However, regardless of whether or not you receive a courtesy text message it is your responsibility to attend all scheduled appointments on time or to reschedule or cancel your appointment in a timely manner. Where a patient cannot be contacted, confirmation is assumed and cancellation fees will apply.

The practice offers full TeleHealth services and uses the Zoom platform to provide such consultations. Please ensure that you have downloaded this platform to your desktop or mobile telephone prior to your scheduled appointment. Please also ensure that you have adequate internet connection and coverage.

The doctor will post or fax scripts to the patient’s local pharmacy. Please note: The doctor cannot post scripts directly to the patient.

All admissions to a private psychiatric hospital must be on a voluntary basis. As there is no private adult, Psychiatric wing at St Vincent’s Private Hospital, patients will be admitted to a private Psychiatric hospital in their local area. Once a patient is admitted, they will be under the care of the admitting team for the duration of their admission.

All decisions made in regards to a patient’s care during the admission are made only by the treating team at the hospital. Upon discharge, you may once again return to your doctor at Eastern Suburbs Psychiatry to resume care.

As this is a medical practice, confidentiality applies to all patient information however, Eastern Suburbs Psychiatry works with a share care model with the referring doctor and so a summary of the assessment will be provided to the referring doctor to ensure continuity or care if and when your psychiatrist is on leave.

Confidentiality may only be breached if the patient poses a risk to themselves or others.

Confidentiality does not apply if the patient presents for the purpose of a Medicolegal report, this includes Independant Psychiatric Assessments or Treating Psychiatrist Reports as the report itself maybe used in any legal proceedings, thereby resulting in a breach of confidentiality.

Feedback can be provided directly to the doctor during session times. This is essential to ensure that you are being given the best possible service. Please do not hesitate to raise any concerns during therapy.

If however you feel that you are not making the right connection with the doctor please let the doctor know and you will be referred to another practitioner if required.

Services provided

Patient Responsibilities

  1. Patients have a responsibility to provide a valid referral. A referral provided by a General Practitioner is valid for 12 months whilst a referral provided by another Specialist is only valid for 3 months. A Medicare rebate cannot be provided without a valid referral. Reception staff cannot organise a referral for you.
  2. Patients have a responsibility to be truthful and to express any concerns clearly to the doctor.
  3. Patients have a responsibility to provide a complete medical history, including information about past illnesses, medications, hospitalisations, family history of illness, participate in a risk assessment and other matters relating to their current health.
  4. Patients have a responsibility to request that the doctor clarify any information provided to them with regards to their diagnosis and management plan when they do not fully understand anything that has been discussed.
  5. Patients have a responsibility to cooperate with the treatment plan and to let the doctor know if they would like to reconsider the treatment plan.
  6. Patients have a responsibility to attend their agreed-upon appointments. Failure to attend appointments will incur a cancellation fee as per the policy.
  7. Patients have a responsibility to meet their financial obligations with regard to medical care on the day of their appointment, including fees incurred as per the cancellation policy. Fees cannot be altered or waived by reception staff.
  8. Patients have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a respectful manner in communications and interactions with reception staff; either in person, on the telephone, via emails, via messages left on the answering machine or via text message. This means the use of inappropriate, threatening (including the use of legal threats) or abusive language and behaviour towards the doctor or reception staff will not be accepted.
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