Frequently Asked Questions
Please note that we are a private, fee paying practice, and we do not offer bulk billing.
The majority of clients we support are eligible for a Medicare referral (see details about referral types below), which entitles them to a rebate from Medicare. This means that after paying your fee at the time of your appointment, we can claim a Medicare rebate on your behalf, which Medicare will deposit in your registered bank account within 1-3 days.
Our fees vary by clinician discipline and qualifications. When you call us, our reception team will ask you a few questions to gauge which staff member/s are likely to best fit your needs, and will advise you of their fees. You're very welcome to call us to query fee structure and rebates you might be entitled to, on 02 8518 6066
People with eating disorders that meet diagnostic criteria are able to access a Medicare treatment subsidy via an 'Eating Disorder Plan', offering rebates for 20 sessions with a Dietitian, and 40 sessions with a Psychologist per year.
Psychology- If you don't meet above criteria, rebates are also available with a Mental Health Care Plan (or 'Better Access' plan), at the same rate as the Eating Disorder Plan.
Dietetics- If you don't quite meet criteria for an EDP, you may still be eligible for a Chronic Disease Management Plan, or Team Care Arrangement (formerly ‘Enhanced Primary Care’ plan), providing the same rebate amount for 5 appointments. Your GP can tell you more about this, and it's your GP's decision as to whether you're eligible.
If you are eligible for any type of care plan, it must be in place before your appointment with us (or before you intend to claim the rebate- you can definitely still use your care plan for review visits after you've started treatment). You will also need to bring your referral paperwork to your appointment.
As of July 1, 2023,
The Dietetics rebate amount is $58.
The Registered Psychologist rebate is $92.90
If you have your bank account linked with Medicare, we can process the rebate for you on the spot.
Dietetics is covered under some ‘Extras’ plans. Rebates are often approximately $28 to $50, however you will need to check what you are entitled to with your own health fund.
If you are entitled to a rebate, this can be claimed at the clinic via HICAPS, and you will only need to pay the gap on the day.
NOTE- if you have a care plan from your GP, you can’t claim from both your health insurer and Medicare for the same appointment. We'll try our best to help you work out how to maximise your rebates.
Of course this depends on individual circumstances, however general recommendations are:
To treat a diagnosed eating disorder, working with both a psychologist and dietitian is important. You will also most likely need to see your GP, and possibly a psychiatrist during treatment.
Once you've been in for your assessments, our policy is to book your course of treatment upfront.
The main reason for this is a practical one- if we don't book your appointments, our calendars book out and we won't be able to fit you in! We want to be sure that our current clients have got all the appointments they need, so that we know whether we have capacity to offer a place to a new client or family. We also know from many combined decades of experience, that when you're getting started in treatment, (whether for the first or tenth time!), there are likely to be many challenges and questions, so it's important to have close support.
Estimates of treatment duration vary depending on the severity of your eating disorder, and nature of other mental health conditions or concerns you have. When starting psychology treatment at our practice, we book you in for your initial assessment, and after meeting you we're able to make a recommendation about the type of treatment that we think will suit you best. Then if you're wanting to go ahead, we'll book in your first 'block' of treatment, usually your first 10 weekly appointments.
- Non-diet approach to eating behaviour challenges/ lower level disordered eating/ overcoming emotional and low severity binge eating: 8-12 sessions over 6-12 months
- Adolescent Maudsley Family based Treatment: approx 20x sessions over 12 months.
- Adults with Anorexia Nervosa/ Bulimia Nervosa/ Binge Eating Disorder/ OSFED (previously 'EDNOS') with significant weight loss and/or binging/ purging behaviours usually require 12-18 months of weekly sessions initially, tapering to fortnightly, then monthly as your medical stability, symptoms, and emotional health improve, and your disordered behaviours become less frequent.
What if I don't fit neatly into one of the above categories?
There’s a very wide spectrum of disordered eating, and you might not need intensive treatment as above. If you’re not sure, come in for an assessment and we will talk about how you’d like to proceed. It’s always better to get help early!
We understand that treatment for an eating disorder can get quite expensive, and we'll do our best to help you maximise rebates.
Feel free to email or phone us to discuss your unique situation.
Like many other practices, we have developed this cancellation policy in order to reflect the time set aside for you. Managing cancellations or appointment changes can be a significant drain on practice resources, and appointments after 3pm for specialist eating disorder treatment are in high demand. We ask that you please be respectful of not only our time and expense in providing a quality service to you, but that you please also respect the needs of other clients who are also seeking specialist eating disorder treatment, which can be very difficult to access.
48hrs Business Hours Notice Required
If you are unable to attend your appointment for any reason, please phone reception on 8518 6066 with at least 48 business hrs notice to avoid a late cancellation fee.
However, the more notice you are able to provide, the better, so that someone else may be given your appointment time. Please note reception hours are within 9-5 M-F, so messages left after hours 1 or 2 days before an appointment will not be received in time.
Please also note that while emails/ Recovery Record app messages to your clinician with an update are appreciated, you will still need to phone reception to cancel or reschedule.
Late cancellation (or appointment no-show) fees are set at:
With 24-48hrs notice: 50% of the scheduled full fee is payable. E.g, your appt is 3pm Monday, and we received notice after 3pm the previous Thursday.
With less than 24hrs notice: the full fee is payable. E.g, your appt is 3pm Monday, and we received notice after 3pm the previous Friday.
NB- cancellation fees are not eligible for Medicare/ private health rebates.
If you have incurred a cancellation fee, this must be paid within 7 days, and before any further bookings can be made. Where we already hold a credit card on file, we will charge the fee to this card at the time of the missed appointment. If we don't hold a card on file, cancellation fees can be paid:
- By credit card via phone
- By credit card online via the link in our invoice
- By bank transfer- details will be provided on an invoice & emailed to you
Thank you kindly for your understanding
Some health insurance extras policies offer rebates for 'health improvement' activities, and this could include group nutrition education programs. If your health fund does offer this, we can provide you with a receipt for claiming.
If you are entitled to a Medicare Team Care Arrangement (see above), or have dietetics cover under your extras policy, you can claim the relevant rebates for any individual assessments made as part of your group program fees, and a pro-rated receipt will be provided if necessary.
If you are under a Medicare ‘care plan’, yes you must bring your referral paperwork to your first appointment (see FAQ 'Will I get a Rebate').
If not under a care plan, you don’t need a referral from your doctor. However, it is very helpful for us if you are able to obtain a referral letter which includes a copy of your medical history, current medications, and any recent blood tests/ results of any other relevant tests.
Use of the titles ‘dietitian’ and ‘nutritionist’ are not tightly regulated. Anyone can call themselves a ‘nutritionist’, even after just a weekend’s online course! However, use of the title ‘Accredited Practising Dietitian’ (APD) is only available to those with high enough qualifications, at least an honours or masters level degree, recognised by the Dietitians Association of Australia (DA), which is the peak body for nutrition professionals in Australia.
The APD credential is a guarantee of professional competency, and commitment to keeping their knowledge updated with further training every year. It's also a requirement that the APD credential is maintained if dietitians wish to be able to offer Medicare rebates to eligible patients. So, when choosing an up-to-date nutrition professional, look for the APD logo or letters APD after their name.
A good quick answer about the different roles of a dietitian Vs nutritionist: An Accredited Dietitian is able to help patients manage medical conditions, and tends to work in hospitals or private practice. An Accredited Nutritionist is able to give advice about eating well to prevent future health problems, and they usually work in public health, eg, developing community health improvement programs. Both are highly educated and valuable health professionals!
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