I am often asked by hypnotherapists about Medicare and private health fund rebates, there seems to be more confusion about this among professional hypnotherapists than what there is among the general public. Some people even go and do training under a poorly explained or even misleading interpretation that they will be issued a provider number that will allow their clients to claim back consultation and treatment for clinical hypnosis and hypnotherapy fees. Hopefully this information will help to clarify the matter at least in Australia.
The only hypnotherapy treatment that is covered by the Government supported Medicare is when the therapy is performed by a registered Clinical Psychologist who’s client has a written referral from a Medical Doctor or a Psychiatrist. Other professional clinical hypnotherapists and hypnotists cannot claim fees via a doctors referral from Medicare as they cannot become registered providers with Medicare. This situation is not very likely to change in the near or the distant future.
Some, albeit a very few, Private Health Funds will reimburse a percentage of fees to members who have private cover, but it is most often for members who have top cover with extras and the treating hypnotherapist must belong to a registered and/or recognised Australian Hypnosis Association and/or be registered on the National Hypnotherapy register which is not possible if the hypnotherapists is not a member of an accepted hypnosis association.
The economic reality for the practicing or intending to practice hypnotherapist is that if you were to start a practice to rely upon income from Private Health Fund payments you will create an economic debacle for yourself as the amounts are minimal at best anyway. You are far better off to focus upon improving your skills to ensure that you are offering good quality and effective service to your clients and then your practice will grow through word of mouth.
Rick Collingwood – Australia’s Premiere Clinical Hypnotist and Hypnosis Trainer