Medicare Funded Skype Therapy Sessions

Australian’s living in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia can now use Medicare to see a Psychologist using video conferencing technologies such as Skype and FaceTime. 

The face -to-face requirements that had previously limited the number of Medicare eligible sessions people could have via video conferencing has been removed as of the 1st September 2018. This means that people living in regional and remote parts of Australia can now access psychological services without needing to travel vast distances to see a Psychologist face to face. 

The Psychologists at Regional & Rural Mental Health Services have been using this technology for many years to help their clients and understand both its benefits and limitations from a clinical point of view. 

We understand the issues facing people living in the bush and rural townships and know from first-hand experience the unique challenges faced by farmers and rural communities, especially during times of drought, and the effect this has on people’s mental health and wellbeing.  

The referral pathway and technology for accessing psychological services online is very simple to set up and our staff will be happy to help you through the process if you run into any problems.  

The minimum requirements for accessing Medicare eligible video conferencing sessions with a Psychologist include:  

  • Living in a rural and remote area of Australia as defined by the Modified Monash Model regions 4 to 7. A map of these regions can be found here.

  • A referral and GP Mental Health Treatment Plan from your GP

  • A reliable internet connection. If this is not available where you live many medical practices can provide this at their clinics.

  • An electronic device with a camera, microphone and speakers. This includes PCs, laptops, tablets (eg. iPADS) and smartphones.

  • A Microsoft Account, which is free, and the Skype Ap, which is also free.

  • A quiet, private place to speak with your Psychologist on your device. Appointments usually last for about an hour so it’s best to find a place where you will not be disturbed during this time.

Your Psychologist only needs the email address associated with your Microsoft Account in order to ‘Skype’ you at your scheduled appointment time.

If you would like more information about seeing a Psychologist using Skype please feel free to contact us. Our Practice Manager will be able to answer any questions or queries you may have.

Andrew Crosby